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lunes, 9 de abril de 2018

Profile: AgriChemWhey project – An integrated biorefinery to transform dairy side streams into biobased chemicals



Type of post: PROJECT PROFILE.

Last year, the Blog published a post about the flagship projects of the BBI JU (“BBI JU flagship projects - The new generation of European advanced biorefineries”, 17/7/2017). They are initiatives that support the launch of an innovation that has been demonstrated but not yet deployed on the market and include the establishment of a first-of-a-kind, large-scale facility. To the date of writing that post, 5 flagship grant agreements between the BBI JU and project consortia have been signed and it was supposed that a sixth flagship was going to be stablished under 2016 call. At the beginning of this year, the details of that agreement were disclosed, a new advanced biorefinery at commercial scale will be built in Ireland. This post shows a profile of the project.

The problem addressed

The European dairy industry, as by-products of whey protein manufacture, produces substances known as whey permeate (WP) and delactosed whey permeate (DLP). These major side-streams of dairy processing lack effective disposal routes and represent a sustainability bottleneck for the expansion of milk production in Europe in the “post-milk-quota era”.

The solution provided

The AgriChemWhey project proposes to convert the aforementioned sidestreams into added-value products for growing global markets: l-Lactic acid, polylactic acid, minerals for human nutrition and biobased fertiliser. In order to do that, a first-of-a-kind, industrial-scale biorefinery, that will valorise over 25 ktons (100% dry matter) per annum of excess WP and DLP, will be constructed.

The Flagship plant will prove the techno-economic viability of the innovative WP/DLP-to-lactic acid biorefinery process. The technology will be optimised by reducing production times and increasing yields. Also, the new biorefinery will establish a new value chain for industrial symbiosis with other local actors for the production of high value sustainable food and feed products from other side streams. In this way, society and industry benefit from for greater resource efficiency: less food waste, more products from the same starting material (milk) and integration of food and non-food material production.

AgriChemWhey will develop a blueprint of an economic sustainability concept and replication plans for other regions across Europe, contributing towards the blossom of the European bioeconomy to promote rural growth, competitiveness and job creation. Exploitation strategies that will ensure the wider uptake of the biorefinery technology.

Figure 1. Glanbia Ingredients milk tanker. This Irish company is the leader of the project.

Key data

Main objective
The main objective of AgriChemWhey is to develop the world’s first integrated biorefinery for converting food-processing residues to bio-based chemicals. The plant will be stablished in Ireland. The project will see a new value chain for lactic acid from dairy production residues.
Call and topic
- H2020-BBI-JTI-2016.
- BBI-2016-F01 - Valorisation of by-products or waste-streams from the food processing industry into high added-value products for market applications.
- Type of action: Innovation Action – Flagship.
- Value Chain: VC4 – organic waste.
Duration
From 01/01/2018 to 31/12/2021.
Total cost
29,949,323 €
BBI JU contribution
22,007,931 €
Project leader
Consortium
University College Dublin (Ireland)
Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)
Commercial Mushroom Producers Co-operative Society Ltd (Ireland)
PNO Consultants Ltd (UK)
GIG Karasek GmbH (Austria)
Tipperary County Council (Ireland)
Teagasc - The Agriculture and Food Development Authority (Ireland)
Greenwin Wallonie (Belgium)
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium)
EW Biotech GmbH (Germany)

Expected impacts

The AgriChemWhey project aims for the following impacts:
- Developing rural communities by creating local jobs. Replicating AgriChemWhey biorefineries has the potential to create over 1,000 rural jobs within four years of project completion.
- Securing the future for dairy farming by making milk production more sustainable and increase the amount that farmers can earn from their outputs.
- Improving the EU trade balance through greater resource efficiency and by reducing current EU l-lactic acid imports (currently 80,000 tons per annum).
- Providing inspiration and encouraging society and industry to embrace the growth and competitiveness of a European circular bioeconomy.
- Saving between 18,000 and 89,000 tons of CO2eq/year, depending on the number of AgriChemWhey-style biorefineries.

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