Project looks at turning municipal solid waste into marketable bio-products
September 28, 2021 By Perseo Biotechnology
A project demonstrating the techno-economic and environmental viability of an integrated bio-refinery, transforming the organics in municipal solid waste into marketable bio-products, is in the stretch run of a five-year objective.
The Urbiofin project is closing in on the final course of its implementation. The results of the project are already leading to the achievement of the objectives. Among the new bio-products realized are chemical building blocks, bio-polymers and additives. Laboratory scale tests and several pilot and demo scale trials have been performed.
Urbiofin will demonstrate innovative processes in bio-ethanol production from the municipal solid waste and its use as chemical building blocks. The bio-ethanol produced will be employed as a feedstock for the production of “second generation” bio-ethylene for gas ripening application.
Furthermore, the project will demonstrate innovative processes in volatile fatty acids production from anaerobic digestion of municipal solid waste and its elongation into medium chain fatty acids to produce short chain and medium chain PHA bio-polymers.
Regarding the biogas upgrading by microalgae photobio-reactor for the production of pure bio-methane, the upgraded bio-methane will be further treated, aiming at removing volatile methyl siloxanes.
The project will also demonstrate innovative processes in the production of bio-fertilizers from microalgae and municipal solid waste. Microalgae grown on waste-based digestate will showcase the potential to produce an amino acid-rich intermediate product.
The validation trials of the preliminary produced materials are in progress while, in the following months, the intermediate materials produced in the pilot plants will be used to formulate and produce the different bio-based products, and their potential will be validated for the selected end-user purposes complying with EU legislation.
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