Building flexible, multi-feedstock pilot plant processing plants
Agrimax will take the residues and by-products from agricultural crops and process them in two, flexible, multi-feedstock pilot biorefineries, purpose-built for the project. A refinery in Italy will process waste from tomatoes and cereals and another in Spain will do the same for olive and potato waste. The target is to convert 40% of the waste the pilot plants receive into high-value materials.
An online joint stakeholder platform that coordinates the provision of waste will help maximise the use of the pilot plants throughout the year and address seasonal and regional fluctuations, thereby maximising efficiency and profitability.
Agrimax’s pilot biorefineries will produce a cascade of innovative, waste-based products with superior ‘green’ credentials, including:
Agrimax will work with end users from the chemical, food-packaging and agricultural sectors to test the quality and performance of these new products.
Agrimax will construct two pilot processing plants, in Italy and Spain, capable of processing waste from all four selected crops (cereals, olives, potatoes and tomatoes).
Agrimax will apply a range of processing technologies, to recover a significant amount of the valuable compounds contained in waste from the growing and processing of cereals, olives, potatoes and tomatoes. These technologies will include: ultrasound-assisted extraction; solvent extraction; filtration; and thermal and enzymatic treatments. Local agricultural cooperatives will provide waste for processing and their contributions will be coordinated with the help of an online platform. End users will test the new, bio-based compounds products to validate their cost-effectiveness and performance.
The project will assess the environmental, societal, ethical, safety, and regulatory implications of this approach. It will also develop economically competitive business strategies for the commercialisation of these products, possibly using cooperatively run processing facilities.
Creating environmental, societal and economic impacts
Agrimax is expected to bring significant sustainability benefits. Life cycle analysis is being used to assess the total environmental impact of the new production pathways. The effect of the new farming practices and new fertilisers on soil health will also be assessed. Agrimax’s new approach to biorefining is expected to bring a range of other benefits including;
Mapping and characterization of the available agricultural and food processing waste
WP1 – Inventory and Specifications of the waste processing & derived biocompounds
Design of the pilot plant and implementation of the cascading approach
WP2 – Set up of the flexible pilot plants for processing waste-derived biocompounds
WP3 – Processing of wastes into high added value biocompounds
Real world validation of the new products
WP4 – Validation and demonstration for packaging materials applications
WP5 – Validation and demonstration for food products
WP6 – Validation and demonstration for agricultural applications
Evaluation of the sustainability of the process
WP7 – Safety, Environmental and economic Sustainability assessment of the developed processes & products
Business strategy elaboration
WP8 – Circular Economy strategy and Innovation Impacts
WP9 – Consortium Management
This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 720719
Georgios Chalkias – IRIS
Emma Needham – BioVale
Parc Mediterrani de la Tecnologia
Avda. Carl Friedrich Gauss nº 11