Agri and food waste valorisation co-ops based on flexible multi-feedstocks biorefinery processing technologies for new high added value applications


Approximately one third of all food produced globally is wasted every year throughout the whole value chain-from farmers to consumers. To extract the significant amounts of valuable compounds contained in these wastes, AgriMax will combine affordable and flexible processing technologies (ultrasound assisted and solvent extraction, filtration, thermal and enzymatic treatments) for the valorization of side streams from the horticultural culture and food processing industry to be used in a cooperative approach by local stakeholders. Through the selection of case-scenarios previously developed to a pilot scale by the participating RTOs and their industrial transfer in new applications as food additives, packaging and agricultural materials among others, the project will disclose the holistic potential of four new agro-value chains (residues and by products from the culture and processing of tomato, cereals, olives, potato). Any by-product generated along the production cycle will be valorized in a cascade manner to reach over 40% of high value use of the waste. This will lead to additional production of active ingredients in lower concentration, but also fibres, biogas and fertilizers from the left biomass (the latter with the aim of being used in closed loop in the culture of the crops used in the project to prevent soil impoverishing). An LCA and LCC will also study the best approach to minimize the environmental impact of the new value chains without jeopardizing the cost effectiveness of the operations. The pilot multi-feedstock bio-refinery processes will be validated in two demonstration sites in Spain and Italy. Societal, ethical, safety, techno-feasibility and regulatory aspects will be studied. Last but not least, a business model and platform for communication between the potential raw materials suppliers will be set up to maximize the use of the cooperative treatment plants throughout the year.

Project details

Unibo Team Leader: Annamaria Celli

Unibo involved Department/s:
Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Chimica, Ambientale e dei Materiali
Dipartimento di Scienze Biologiche, Geologiche e Ambientali

Iris Technology Solutions S.L.(Spain)

Other Participants:
Fraunhofer Ipa (Germany)
University College Dublin, National University Of Ireland (Ireland)
Aimplas - Asociacion De Investigacion De Materiales Plasticos Y Conexas (Spain)
Cinstm-Cons.Interuniversitario Naz.Per La Scienza E Tecnologia Dei Materiali (Italy)
Bioprocess Pilot Facility Bv (Netherlands)
Itene (Spain)
Institut De Recerca I Technologia Agroalimentaries (Spain)
Federació de Cooperatives Agràries de Catalunya (Spain)
Gaviplas, S.L. (Spain)
BioVale Limited (United Kingdom)
Stazione Sperimentale Per L'Industria Delle Conserve Alimentari In Parma (Italy)
Chiesa Virginio (Italy)
Plasttechnics Cluster Slovenia-Gospodarsko Interesno Zdruzenje Grozd Plasttehnika - Giz Grozd Plasttehnik (Slovenia)
Fertinagro Nutrientes, S.L. (Spain)
Exergy Ltd (United Kingdom)
Food industries Federation of Austria (Austria)
Femto Engineering Srl (Italy)
Ardagh Group Italy Srl (Italy)
Mogu S.R.L. (Italy)
Laser Consult Muszaki-Tudomanyos Es Gazdasagi Tanacsado Korlatolt Felelossegu Tarsasag (Hungary)
ALMA MATER STUDIORUM - Università di Bologna (Italy)
Universiteit Gent (Belgium)
Nofima Genetics as (Norway)
Organic Waste Systems Nv (Belgium)
Indulleida S.A. (Spain)
Universidad De Almeria (Spain)
Laboratori Archa Srl (Italy)

Third parties:
Universidad De Lleida (Spain)

Total Eu Contribution: Euro (EUR) 12.484.461,46
Project Duration in months: 60
Start Date: 01/10/2016
End Date: 30/09/2021

Cordis webpage
Project website

Responsible consumption and production This project contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

UE flag This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 720719