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Unlocking new VALUE from urban bioWASTE

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - VALUEWASTE (Unlocking new VALUE from urban bioWASTE)

Reporting period: 2020-05-01 to 2021-10-31

A total of 128 million tonnes of urban biowaste are produced annually in the EU. The current municipal biowaste management systemsdo not give a second life to the biowaste resources limiting the potential recovery of value-added products.
The EU imports 77% of the required proteins for feed or food supplies, and 70% of known phosphate rock reserves for P-fertilisers are concentrated in Morocco. Therefore, there is a need to find alternatives and sustainable sources of proteins and fertilisers.
In this context, a transition to a circular economy is needed. VALUEWASTE proposes an integrated system for urban biowaste valorisation into key strategic products for the EU through the implementation of three new value chains that will generate the following new products: 1) Proteins for food & feed from bacteria that grow on biogas; 2) Proteins for food & feed using insects; 3) Fertilisers for agriculture.
Main results achieved so far (updated 31st Oct 2021):
The biowaste selective collection experience in Murcia (Spain) is running properly, collecting about 1.7 ton per day from two main sources: homes (8-10% non-organic materials), and food markets (2-3% non-organic materials).
The three valorising lines are installed to be validated in relevant environment in Murcia and Kalundborg (Denmark).
Value Chain 1 has been implemented by UNIBIO in Kalundborg since Jan-Feb 2021. The process has reached a productivity of 80 t/year of protein. The project goal of 5 Kg/m3/h of biomass has been surpassed at pilot scale while currently 4.1 Kg/m3/h of biomass has been achieved at demonstration scale.
The ENTOMO demo plant for insect production in Murcia is fully operative, processing 1 ton of biowaste per day and studying factors such as feeding routines and the composition of feedstock. Preliminary studies show that the inorganic fraction in the collected biowaste is not affecting larvae development. Compared to previous studies, ENTOMO pilots have shown to perform better in terms of waste treatment capacity and larvae production/tons). ENTOMO is currently working to demonstrate this goal in relevant environment. So far, the following products from BSF larvae have been obtained: protein meal, oil, protein hydrolysate, chitosan and frass.
Value Chain 3, led by NURESYS and EKOBALANS together with INDEREN , is fully assembled since September 2021, once the N recovery unit arrived in Murcia from Sweden.
The accumulated experience will be used for future large urban biowaste valorising plants, including environmental and social assessment.
To create adequate market conditions for the acceptance, use and commercialization of the new biobased products, VALUEWASTE has been working in the following areas:
• Ensuring the safety and functionality of the new biobased products:
GAIKER has started to work on testing the full safety of the biobased products, obtaining promising results for bacterial protein, indicating that the product would be safe both for animal feed and human consumption. Regarding functionality, CARINSA started to test ingredients as diet components for aquaculture industry and Uniprotein+ as an ingredient in food products.
• Creating new exploitation strategies for innovative biowaste valorisation schemes.
Different formulas for the intellectual property protection and exploitation of the VALUEWASTE solution are under study. Business model canvases have been created for the value chains and will be validated against social acceptance and sustainability.
• Increasing social acceptance and citizen awareness:
The study of the social acceptance of bioproducts continued through surveys to the general audience. The survey reached 1,928 people from which 453 completed it.
As per citizen awareness the project has engaged in two communication campaigns:
1. The educational campaign led by FERROVIAL and Ayuntamiento de Murcia. The aim was to support and engage homes, local markets and citizens with the selective collection of urban biowaste started in parallel. The campaign impacted 6,420 citizens, 8 local markets and 21 restaurants.

2. The Citizens awareness campaign led by Kalundborg Kommune and Ayuntamiento de Murcia. The goal was to increase citizens and children awareness over the use of biobased products. The Campaign was active in Oct 2021 in Murcia and Kalundborg .

• Contributing to standardisation development
UNE and FERROVIAL led the elaboration of a pre-normative document withrecommendations for the implementation of biowaste selective collection schemes (CEN Workshop proposal on 'KEY-BIOWASTE'). Moreover, CETENMA is participating as reference national expert in the working group that is developing the new ISO/s-LCA standard (ISO/AWI 14075 S-LCA).
• Providing evidence-based support for EU policies
VALUEWASTE has promoted the creation of the joint policy initiative ROOTS together with the projects HOOP, SCALIBUR and WaysTUP!. The main objective of the initiative is to promote innovative solutions for circular bioeconomy and bring down the regulatory barriers. The first outcome is a position paper.
The implementation of the D&C plan continued by communicating the project activities and disseminating the first project outcomes. Due to the pandemic, the main participation of VALUEWASTE project in events were carried out online, for example, in the Urban Circular Bioeconomy Webinar Series, partner event of EU Green Week 2021 co-organised by HOOP, SCALIBUR, VALUEWASTE and WaysTUP! (Urban Circular Bioeconomy Webinar Series • HOOP).
The main progress and expected results until the end of the project come as follows:
• Identification of the key factors for the successful implementation of urban biowaste selective collection schemes.
• Validation of the three different valorising lines at TRL7 and production of innovative products.
• Demonstration of the safety and functionality of the innovative products.
• Identification of potential improvements and up-scaling risks to define an up-scale design of the VALUEWASTE solution.
• Completion of the environmental and social life cycle assessment of the VALUEWASTE solution.
• Creation of business models, exploitation and commercialization strategies, learning from the Kalundborg Symbiosis experience.
• Increased understanding on the social acceptance of new bioproducts.
• Publication of project results in relevant media/technical magazines.
• Completion of the project contribution to standardisation.
• Collection of evidences and experiences to inform policy.
It becomes evident that the progress of the project will result in socio-economic impact. In summary, VALUEWASTE contributes to the society, the environment and the economy in several ways: promoting the urban biowaste collection and its use as a local source of valuable materials, contributing to EU to self-sufficiency on strategic resources, providing example to other EU cities to promote the full valorisation of urban biowaste, and facilitating the access of new products based on the added value of biowaste to new markets which will result in the generation of jobs in Europe. Through the new urban biowaste valorisation scheme that we propose, the project will also contribute to prevent soil and air contamination, reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, and the overuse of raw materials. The replication of the project is already ensured through the HOOP project (https://hoopproject.eu/).
VALUWASTE project consortium map
PIlot Plant Picutre
Consortium picture durign the Pilot Plant Launch (November 2021)
VALUEWASTE Value Chain processes