BIOHEC-LIFE - Advanced Biodiesel in circular economy for low carbon public transports.

LIFE15 CCM/FR/000068

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Contact details:

Contact person: Michel MILLARES
Tel: 33642964115
Email: michel.millares@gecco.fr

Project description:


Petroleum products still account for 95% of fuel consumption by European road transport and represent 21% of European greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The European Union has set a target for every Member State that at least 10% of its transport fuel comes from renewable sources by 2020.

First generation biofuels - such as agricultural bioethanol, to be used in gasoline engines, and biodiesel, made from oilseed crops, for use in standard diesel engines – have helped reduce GHG emissions, but they also have a negative impact on water and soils, as well as competing for land used by food crops.

By 2013, EU strategy was re-oriented towards “advanced” biofuels, made from waste or agricultural and forestry residues (second generation) or algae (third generation). Used cooking oils (UCOs) are processed from food industry and catering waste; cheap and widely available, they are playing an increasing role in the development of advanced biofuels. However, although the legislative framework is in place, less than 40% of discarded UCOs are collected, and the biofuels processed from these are still associated with negative environmental impacts. Moreover, current biofuel production chains still mostly resort to the import and long-distance transport of material to large-capacity processing units: freight accounts for up to 20% of the GHG impact of these biofuels' life-cycle.


BIOHEC-LIFE aims to achieve the following:

  • Validate an eco-designed, compact and flexible demonstrator in order to produce competively-priced advanced biofuels derived from UCO and bioethanol;
  • Provide French local authorities’ transport fleets with locally-produced biofuel;
  • Validate the economic, social and environmental model of the production chain in the city of Lille and Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie region;
  • Prepare the replication and deployment of this model in subsequent French and European territories through partnerships and franchises; and
  • Develop and promote new methods enabling the optimised recovery of UCOs.
  • Expected results: The project expects to achieve the following beneficial results in terms of the prototype technology, recovery chain and replicability:

  • Construction of an eco-designed, compact and flexible demonstrator allowing the processing of UCOs for biofuel production;
  • Production of UCO-derived biofuel and bioethanol, allowing a 93% reduction in GHG emissions in the life-cycle compared with classic gasoline and a 22% reduction in comparison with other biofuel processes;
  • Reduced environmental impacts compared with gasoline including -86% consumption of non-renewable energies, -97% photochemical oxidation, -98% human toxicity (health impact), and -46% eutrophication;
  • High-value recovery chains for glycerol;
  • Creation of a local and economically-competitive supply chain for second generation bioethanol;
  • Successful running of the city of Lille's vehicle fleet for 19 months;
  • Supply of 245 000 L of fuel – i.e. 50% of Lille's fuel consumption, bringing GHG emission savings of 200 teqCO2 during the project;
  • Air emissions from the vehicles compatible with European emission standards 4 to 6;
  • Methods and tools necessary to reach a rate of household waste recovery of 0.1 kg/inhabitant in participating local communities– i.e. avoiding 0.27 Mt eqCO2 of emissions;
  • Technical, socioeconomic and environmental data validating the creation of a circular production chain for the processing of UCO-derived biofuel for the use of local communities; and
  • A methodology to accompany and support the setting-up of production chains in order to ensure their replicability.



Environmental issues addressed:


Climate change Mitigation - Renewable energies
Climate change Mitigation - GHG reduction in non EU ETS sectors


waste management‚  biofuel

Target EU Legislation

  • Waste
  • COM(2015)614 - "Closing the loop - An EU action plan for the Circular Economy" (02.12.2015)
  • Climate Change & Energy efficicency
  • Directive 2009/28 - Promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources (23.04.2009)
  • COM(2011)112 - "A Roadmap for moving to a competitive low carbon economy in 2050" (08.03.2011)

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator GECCO
Type of organisation SME Small and medium sized enterprise
Description Gecco is an SME established in 2007 whose goal is the sustainable management of waste and energy by developing and deploying large-scale local recycling systems. The company collects and recycles used cooking oil (UCO) in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Picardie regions for biodiesel and bio-lubricants, as well as carrying out research and development in these fields.
Partners RREUSE, Belgium Université des Sciences et Technologies de Lille - Lille1), France NEOECO DEVELOPPEMENT, France Pour La Solidarité, Belgium


Project reference LIFE15 CCM/FR/000068
Duration 01-DEC-2016 to 31-DEC -2019
Total budget 2,446,344.00 €
EU contribution 1,459,164.00 €
Project location Nord-Pas-De-Calais(France)


Read more:

Leaflet "BIOHEC LIFE: Un biodiesel local pour vos transpor ...
Project web site Project's website


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