From urban biowaste burden to useful bio-based plastic

So much waste ... what could we do with it, beyond producing energy and compost? EU-funded researchers are looking into ways to turn biowaste generated in our cities - notably by homes, restaurants and shops - into a number of bio-based products by means of integrated biorefineries.

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Countries
Countries
  Algeria
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Bangladesh
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Botswana
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cambodia
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Costa Rica
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czech Republic
  Denmark
  Ecuador
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Faroe Islands
  Finland
  France
  French Polynesia
  Gambia
  Georgia


 

Published: 21 November 2017  
Related theme(s) and subtheme(s)
Bioeconomy
EnvironmentClean technology and recycling
Innovation
Research policyHorizon 2020
Countries involved in the project described in the article
Croatia  |  Denmark  |  France  |  Italy  |  Portugal  |  Spain  |  Switzerland  |  United Kingdom
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From urban biowaste burden to useful bio-based plastic

Organic biological kitchen waste

© zlikovec - fotolia.com

The Res Urbis project, launched in January 2017, intends to put urban biowaste to good use for the production of bioplastic and a number of related products. It is designing integrated facilities for this purpose, where all relevant processes would be grouped. Types of biowaste considered by the partners include not only food and kitchen waste but also sludge from the treatment of wastewater, residue from gardens and parks, and nappies.

The project intends to use this material as feedstock for the production of bioplastic – more specifically, polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) – as well as biosolvents employed in PHA extraction and fibres for use in PHA-based composites. It will also investigate various possible uses for its plastic, such as the manufacturing of packaging film and materials for the remediation of groundwater.

Res Urbis involves territorial clusters in Italy, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom, where the feasibility of the proposed concept and potential scenarios for its implementation will be explored. One option the partners are considering would be to set up separate bio-refineries to handle the relevant processes.

Alternatively, the required facilities could be added on to existing wastewater treatment or anaerobic digestion plants. Alongside their experimental activity and work on technical issues, the researchers will perform market analyses and look into ways of filling regulatory gaps.

Project details

  • Project acronym: Res Urbis
  • Participants: Italy (Coordinator), Switzerland, Denmark, Spain, France, Croatia, Portugal, United Kingdom
  • Project N°: 730349
  • Total costs: € 3 377 915
  • EU contribution: € 2 996 688
  • Duration: January 2017 to December 2019

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