According to the Urban Waste Report 2019 edition of ISPRA, the volumes of waste to be managed are increasing and, in 2018, have reached half a ton per capita. In total it makes about 30.2 million tons: a number in net growth if we consider that in the last 6 years we had remained below 30 tons. In addition to the tons of municipal waste produced each year, however, the separate collection of waste has also increased, up by about 2.6% compared to 2017.
In a similar context, the valorization of organic waste from separate collection brings great benefits to the territory in terms of environment, employment and as a driver of growth and sustainable development.
For all these reasons, main aim of this multidisciplinary research project is the upgrade of the AD process to virtuous multi-step biorefinery process to generate innovation and development in the management of urban biowaste in the territory of Lombardy Region, guaranteeing the respect of human health thanks to the careful evaluation of the biological risk of the entire technological chain. The specific challenge is to reduce costs and improve sustainability associated with the pretreatment step of biomass feedstock while making it possible to achieve of sufficiently high yields in the targeted product in the subsequent conversion steps.
The project, started in February 2020 and will last 30 months, is focused on the integration of an innovative pretreatment to promote high added value fatty acids production from the liquid fraction, and biomethane and an hygienized biofertilizer from the solid residue.
The potential economic value that will derive from processing biowaste with the REVENUE platform is to mitigate the disposal costs, to receive revenues from sales of the products, and subsidies for renewable energy.
The project aims at:
- Developing an efficient combination of physical feedstock pretreatment and biotechnological processes to efficiently valorize valuable components in organic waste of Lombardy territory.
- Controlling the mixed microbial population within the microbiome to induce selective chain elongation mechanisms from the substrates
- Developing new downstream processing technologies to extract and separate high-purity target product from fermentation broth through magnetic nanoparticles application
- Contributing to the implementation of a pilot-scale treatment process to verify the hypothesis postulated in laboratory–scale tests
- Contributing to a more resource-efficient and sustainable low-carbon economy and to increasing economic growth and employment
- Defining risk prevention and mitigation measures minimizing bio-hazard impact on health
- Reinforcing excellence of research and increasing performance, internalization and impact of R&D, spillovers and innovation systems and support high-level education for young scientists fostered by the robust and multidisciplinary specialism offered.
REVENUE project partners are 3
- Politecnico di Milano – Department of Chemistry, Materials and Chemical Engineering
- Istituto di Ricerca sulle Acque (IRSA)- National Research Council
- Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome (UCBM)
- Lombardy Energy Cleantech Cluster (LE2C) (subcontractor)
Project supported by: