• Biowaste as a potential resource of the circular European bioeconomy

Waste Management

Biowaste as a potential resource of the circular European bioeconomy

Apr 20 2023

The CAFIPLA technology presents a promising solution for utilising biowaste as a valuable resource in the circular European bioeconomy. This innovative technology combines a Carboxylic acid platform and a Fibre recovery platform to produce industrially relevant platform products, such as microbial protein, bioplastics, bio-oils, and biobased materials for packaging, insulation, and construction applications.

The recently released "CAFIPLA Guideline for Successful Integration of the Technology Platform" offers valuable insights into the CAFIPLA technology and its implementation, providing guidance to stakeholders interested in establishing novel routes for biowaste valorisation on a regional level. This guideline outlines opportunities and challenges that must be considered in moving towards implementation of the concept, evaluating the requirements of the CAFIPLA technology, considering supply chains and technical feasibility, and highlighting the economic added value of the diverse biowaste-based end product portfolio.

The CAFIPLA technology is highly flexible and can be tailored to specific local requirements, offering multiple implementation options, including integration into existing biorefinery or waste treatment sites, or the installation of stand-alone CAFIPLA biorefineries. With roughly 20,000 biogas plants in Europe and an estimated potential of 17 million tonnes of biowaste available for anaerobic digestion, the extensive implementation potential of the CAFIPLA technology is evident.

The CAFIPLA project, which involves 12 partners from across Europe, including six SMEs, is taking up the challenge of developing a new integrated platform for the economic conversion of biowaste into higher value products. DECHEMA, a non-profit professional society and expert network for chemical engineering and biotechnology in Germany, is one of the project partners and has developed the CAFIPLA Guideline, which is available for free on the CAFIPLA website.

The growing demand for biomass to feed the production of biochemicals, bioenergy, and biobased materials creates potential conflicts regarding its optimal use or sufficient supply. Biowaste presents an abundant and sustainable bioresource that can help ease trade-offs between industrial and environmental interests and the competition for increasingly scarce bioresources. The CAFIPLA technology offers an innovative, future-oriented, and economic solution for biowaste utilisation and will be a key player in unlocking biowaste as a raw material for the European circular bioeconomy.


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