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Establishing a Multi-purpose Biorefinery for the Recycling of the organic content of AHP waste in a Circular Economy Domain

Objective

A sizeable category in terms of organic content within MSW is represented by Absorbent Hygiene Products (AHPs; e.g. nappies, adult incontinence products, feminine hygiene items, wipes, etc.) waste, which is currently considered as non-recyclable fraction of MSW and finds its way to landfills or incineration, leading to important environmental concerns. Indeed, each year 8,500,000 tons of such waste are incinerated or landfilled in Europe (the equivalent of almost 30 landfills every year), and over 30,000,000 tons in the world. AHP are mainly composed of a mix of natural fibres (cellulose) and polymers (PP/PE and superabsorbent polymer), valuable materials that currently don’t find a proper valorization. Within EMBRACED project, a first-of-its-kind multi-purpose integrated biorefinery will be established in order to valorize in a relevant environment scenario the cellulosic fractions obtained from AHP waste towards the production of bio-products of significant commercial interest, and – concurrently – high added-value co-products, such polyolefinic plastics and SAP (superabsorbent polymers).
This innovative biorefinery model will involve all the main actors of the whole value chain, from AHP consumers and local population to waste management and logistic companies, leading AHP producers and bioprocess developers, as well as final products developers. In a view of circular economy, all the fractions obtained from the processed AHP waste will be reused through valorization into final products, and in particular the high-quality cellulosic fraction of AHP (ca. 1,275,000 ton/y in Europe), which has significant advantages vs. traditional 2nd generation lignocellulosic feedstocks in terms of homogeneity and downstream bioprocessing costs, will be converted and valorized in two parallel value chains, leading to the production of biobased building blocks, polymers and fertilizers.

Coordinator

Fater S.p.A.

Address

Via A. Volta 10
65129 Pescara

Italy

Activity type

Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)

EU Contribution

€ 5 816 105,50

Participants (12)

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LEGAMBIENTE ASSOCIAZIONE ONLUS

Italy

EU Contribution

€ 212 750

NOVAMONT SPA

Italy

EU Contribution

€ 1 672 125

CONTARINA SPA

Italy

EU Contribution

€ 225 050

FRAUNHOFER GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FOERDERUNG DER ANGEWANDTEN FORSCHUNG E.V.

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 298 550

FUNDACION CIRCE CENTRO DE INVESTIGACION DE RECURSOS Y CONSUMOS ENERGETICOS

Spain

EU Contribution

€ 380 500

EDIZIONI AMBIENTE SRL

Italy

EU Contribution

€ 87 500

AEB EXPLOITATIE BV

Netherlands

EU Contribution

€ 1 370 801

TERRACYCLE UK LTD

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 186 144

PROCTER & GAMBLE INTERNATIONAL OPERATIONS SA

Switzerland

EU Contribution

€ 203 000

SAPONIA KEMIJSKA, PREHRAMBENA I FARMACEUTSKA INDUSTRIA D.D.

Croatia

EU Contribution

€ 44 187,50

FERTINAGRO BIOTECH SL

Spain

EU Contribution

€ 198 498,13

BV RUBBERFABRIEK WITTENBURG

Netherlands

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 745746

Status

Ongoing project

  • Start date

    1 June 2017

  • End date

    31 May 2022

Funded under:

H2020-EU.3.2.6.

  • Overall budget:

    € 17 334 553,75

  • EU contribution

    € 10 695 211,13

Coordinated by:

Fater S.p.A.

Italy