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Successful Agriforvalor workshops in Hungary

January 2017

Published on 14-02-2017 10:14:22 by AGRIFORVALOR

CakePHP The RTD Knowledge Transfer Workshop and the Innovation Exploitation Workshop were organized by the Agriforvalor Biomass Innovation Design Hub on 19th January 2017 in Budapest, Hungary.

The RTD Knowledge Transfer Workshop and the Innovation Exploitation Workshop were organized by the Agriforvalor Biomass Innovation Design Hub on 19th January 2017 in Budapest, Hungary. The organizers were Bay Zoltan Nonprofit Ltd., National Agricultural Research Centre/ Forestry Research Institute, LAVINA Foundation, and Pilze-Nagy Ltd.

About 60 participants, more than the originally planned number of audience participated at the workshops. The audience was interested in hearing new information about existing technologies, learning from the example of others; and they took active part in discussing the needs and demands of the market and identifying innovative uses for biomass sidestreams.

The main focus of the RTD Knowledge Transfer Workshop was on the introduction of the good practices of the utilization and recycling of biomass, particularly the economic reuse of agricultural and forestry sidestreams. There are three Agriforvalor Hubs, in Hungary, in Ireland, and in Spain, respectively. The presenters showed the general structure and the goals of the project, interpreted the evaluation of the results of the previous survey about the treatment and utilization of biomass. Then best practices and examples of biomass utilisation were shown, e.g zero waste oil, using the sidestream of wine production, manufacturing a biomass-based phosphate fertilizer, operating biogas plants, raw materials for cosmetic industry or paper production.

The Horizon 2020 Agriforvalor project aims to build an effective and cooperative network to increase resource efficiency, establish new value chains in biomass valorisation and reduce landfilling.

The consortium carried out a survey among framers and foresters in order to have a clear picture of the use of biomass in the participating countries. Mostly SME’s participated, and the data revealed that Hungary has a relevant potential in agricultural by-product formation, but the lack of information about the value and supply chain of biomass and the innovative methods to utilize and recycle sidestreams is a critical point. The main expectation of the sidestream producers towards a new technology is the cost-efficiency and the reduction of the operating expenses. The next step to cover the needs of the sidestream producers was the collecting of existing examples of the best practices. An online database was produced that contain more than 100 good practices from the market or from research institutes.

The five main outputs of biomass utilization are the following: Manufacturing pharmaceutical raw materials, food additives to use in the food industry, creation of functional materials to manufacture devices, using as bioenergy and/or biofuel to energy production, using as fertilizer to enhance soil quality, and energy production. To highlight the hidden potential of agricultural by-products, a more detailed introduction was needed to the best practices. These technologies are more efficient than other existing technologies, tested and confirmed in practice and environmentally and economically sustainable. The utilization of high value biogas from straw; and sidestreams from food industry to heat turkey farms and forage plants, the production of high impact fertilizer with the use of forestry sidestreams by two Spanish companies, the cosmetic cream from sunflower stalk, and biofilter from bark wood chips produced by different Hungarian companies are excellent examples of the utilization of sidestreams.

At the second, during an Exploitation prioritisation Workshop, the participants discussed the potential ideas of valorising biomass sidestreams and used the brainstorming method to find new uses for biomass. An innovation toolbox was previously compiled to range the most important innovative themes using an efficient and evaluable method. Based on this toolbox and the topics presented on the first workshop b2b meeting were performed in small groups between the representatives of RTD institutions and the companies, to design the prioritized exploitation topics, develop the innovation partnership, and evaluate the possibilities of new businesses. The result of the Workshop is that in Hungary, the need was identified to make use of biomass with methods that are alternatives to burning, and also to valorise biomass for new innovative purposes other than producing energy or fuel. Especially, the use of biomass to improve the quality of the soil was highlighted by the participants that seems to be an emerging need and demand.