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INTRO TO AGROCYCLE

A Sino-EU collaborative research and innovation venture

Published on 11-05-2017 12:10:24 by AGRIFORVALOR

CakePHP The UCD School of Biosystems and Food Engineering is leading the project AgroCycle, a Sino-EU collaborative research and innovation venture on the application of the ‘circular economy’ across the agri-food industry.

The UCD School of Biosystems and Food Engineering is leading AgroCycle, a Sino-EU collaborative research and innovation venture on the application of the ‘circular economy’ across the agri-food industry. The project has 26 partners from across the EU, China and Hong Kong, and is funded through the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, with additional funding from the governments of the Peoples’ Republic of China and Hong Kong. The 36-month project (started June 1st 2016) aims to reduce waste whilst also making best use of the ‘wastes’ produced within the agri-food sector by delivering a protocol for the implementation of the ‘circular economy’. AgroCycle will further develop, demonstrate and validate novel processes, practices and products for the sustainable use of agricultural wastes in applications such as fertilisers, bio-polymers and novel chemicals as well as developing technology and policy guidelines for the bioeconomy.

The project is addressing the valorisation of wastes from several agricultural sectors to reflect the Sino-EU consortium: wastes from wine, olive oil, horticulture, fruit, grassland, swine, dairy and poultry. To achieve the project objectives, the following work packages are being undertaken:

Assessing Waste Value Chains      

  • Quantifying, mapping, and characterising agricultural waste flows in Europe

(reports available to download at www.agrocycle.eu/documents)

  • Value chain logistics; and current regulatory requirements
  • Sustainable extraction rates of crop residues

Bioenergy and Biofuels

  • Construction of ethanol and butanol

production pilot plants

  • Installation of dry AD units in Ireland

for poultry manure

  • Development of third generation

microbial fuel cells to convert biodegradable

materials present in waste into electricity

Biofertiliser Production

Evaluating the effectiveness of biofertilisers from waste

materials e.g.

  • Lignosulfonates from pruning wastes
  • Digestate from AD treated manures
  • Natural fertilisers from rice bran

Novel Chemicals and Biopolymers

  • Extraction of proteins, fibres and secondary plant metabolites (SPM) from horticultural waste streams e.g. potato pulp
  • Demonstrate the application of extracted biocompounds in nutraceuticals, active packaging, adhesives and coating applications

Life Cycle Assessment

  • Creating AgroCycle Protocol Rules (APR) for an assessment framework for the sustainability performance of agri-food waste and by-product valorisation

(report available to download at www.agrocycle.eu/documents)

  • Conduct LCA and economic and social assessments for European and Chinese waste value chains
  • Consider impacts across full life cycle including upstream production of waste

Business Models + Policy

  • Joint stakeholder platform for knowledge/data sharing for actors in the agri-food circular economy
  • Identify and develop new business models for business diversification
  • Mapping out potential markets in Europe and China for agri-food wastes

For more information on the project, visit www.agrocycle.eu