LIFE+ VALPORC - Valorization of pig carcasses through their transformation into biofuels and organic fertilizers

LIFE13 ENV/ES/001115

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Contact details:

Project Manager: Arturo DAUDÉN
Tel: 34679410332
Email: proyecto@lifevalporc.eu

Project description:


The production and marketing of food leads to the production of a range of by-products not intended for human consumption. To avoid risks for the environment and human and animal health, the management of these by-products is regulated by the EC Regulation 1069/2009, which classes them into three categories, according to their potential risks.

However, current management of food by-products is a big environmental problem due to the large volumes and the nearly inexistent exploitation of many of them. This problem is particularly significant in the meat industry, and especially in the case of animal by-products from the pig sector, such as animal carcasses and manure.

The pork sector is a world leader in the production of meat. Over 145 million pigs were farmed in Europe in 2012, creating a large waste management challenge. In Spain alone, by-products from pork production are estimated at around 160 978 tonnes/year. Current processes to manage pig waste are inadequate and most of this waste is disposed of in landfills or incinerated.


The LIFE+ VALPORC project aims to demonstrate a process for the sustainable management of animal by-products from the pork industry, especially pig carcasses and manure. It seeks to exploit these waste products by transforming them into biofuels - biogas and biodiesel - and organic fertilisers, with resultant environmental and socio-economic benefits.

The project will develop a prototype treatment process for pig carcasses to obtain high-quality meal and fat for subsequent use. The process will allow flexible operating conditions to optimise energy efficiency. It will meet all the health and safety requirements of current legislation for this type of waste.

The meat and bone meal (category 2) and glycerine obtained will be used as new substrates in biogas production in a co-digestion process with pig manure. To improve the efficiency of the anaerobic digestion and optimise the biogas production, the project will implement a new pre-treatment system of the animal by-product inputs, based on ultrasonic technology.

The project will also seek to use animal fats from category 2 to produce second generation biodiesel. It will develop a prototype plant for demonstrating an innovative and efficient process based on cavitation technology.

Finally, the project will produce an organic fertiliser from the digestate and acidic waste from the biodiesel production process. It will then demonstrate the agronomic potential of this fertiliser.

Expected results:

  • Treatment of 1.0 tonne/day of pig carcasses to produce high-quality meal and fat for the production of biofuels;
  • Use of ultrasonic technologies as a pre-treatment process, providing efficiencies of volatile solids removal of at least 80% from animal by-product substrates for biogas production;
  • Transformation of 80% of the organic matter content of meat and bone meal – category 2 - into biogas (65% methane);
  • Transformation of 80% of the organic matter content of pig manure into biogas (65% methane);
  • Transformation of 90% of the animal fats – category 2 - into biodiesel through a prototype process – up to 100 litres/hour - using cavitation technology;
  • Use of the remaining 20% of the organic matter content of the meat and bone meal as organic fertiliser with demonstrated agronomic potential;
  • A 100% reduction of contaminant emissions related to the current management of pig carcasses by incineration - CO2, NOx, dioxins and furans, etc.



Environmental issues addressed:


Energy - Supply
Environmental management - Cleaner technologies
Environmental management - Eco-products design
Industry-Production - Food and Beverages
Waste - Industrial waste
Waste - Waste use
Climate change Mitigation - Renewable energies


by-product‚  fertiliser‚  use of waste as energy source‚  energy saving‚  industrial waste‚  waste recycling‚  waste treatment‚  food production‚  biofuel‚  agricultural waste

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Asociación de Defensa Sanitaria Nº 2 Comarcal Porcino
Type of organisation Professional organisation
Description The Pig Farming Health Protection Association No.2 for the municipality of Ejea de los Caballeros, in the province of Zaragoza (Aragon), is made up of around 250 pig farmers. It promotes the good management of livestock, including by supporting effective enforcement of health legislation.


Project reference LIFE13 ENV/ES/001115
Duration 01-SEP-2014 to 31-AUG -2017
Total budget 1,986,312.00 €
EU contribution 992,456.00 €
Project location País Vasco(España) Aragón(España) Castilla-León(España)


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Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version