SCALIBUR: Scalable Technologies for Bio-Urban Waste Recovery
The SCALIBUR project (2018-2022), funded by the European programme Horizon 2020 and coordinated by ITENE, promotes innovative solutions to transform urban biowaste into high value-added products.
In the European Union, over 100 million tonnes of biowaste are thrown away each year – around 200 kg per person. Currently, 75% of this goes to landfill or is incinerated, causing major environmental problems: biowaste produces greenhouse gases when it decomposes and contaminates soil and groundwater. Landfilling of biowaste goes against the principle of a circular economy and is a waste of nutrients, energy, and resources for bioproducts.
Summary and objectives
An acronym for Scalable Technologies for Bio-Urban Waste Recovery, SCALIBUR seeks to bridge the gap between technological viability and industrial applications in the field of urban organic waste recovery, strengthening strategic cooperation between the different sectors and creating new business opportunities. In this way, it will contribute to two European challenges: to reduce deposits in landfills and achieve a circular economy by 2030.
Biowaste is commonly used for energy or composting, but SCALIBUR will demonstrate a range of innovative technologies to produce high value-added products, such as bioplastics, biofertilisers, biopesticides and proteins for food and animal feed. Three demonstration lines are planned:
1. Solid waste from the hotel, restaurant, and catering sector (HORECA) will be transformed into proteins, lipids, and chitin through the breeding of insects.
2. Biowaste collected from households will allow the creation of biopesticides and bioplastics through a process of high-solids content enzymatic hydrolysis followed by a fermentation phase.
3. Biogas produced from both solid waste and wastewater of treatment plants will be transformed into chemical and bioplastic products such as PHA through a bioelectrochemical treatment.
Waste management practices vary widely in Europe, with only some cities separately collecting biowaste. The city of Lund, in Sweden, will be used as a model for this initiative, transferring its experience in the organic waste collection to three cities: Madrid (Spain), Albano Laziale (Italy) and Kozani (Greece).
The SCALIBUR project involves 20 partners in seven European countries: Belgium, Germany, Greece, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden. Through this consortium, SCALIBUR promotes cooperation between different sectors, including research centers, universities, city councils, waste managers, and companies.
INSTITUTO TECNOLÓGICO DEL EMBALAJE, TRANSPORTE Y LOGÍSTICA (ITENE) (Spain) – Project coordinator.
AERIS TECNOLOGIAS AMBIENTALES SL (Spain).
ASA SPEZIALENZYME GMBH (Germany).
FUNDACION CENER-CIEMAT (Spain).
CLUSTER VIOENERGEIAS KAI PERIVALLONTOS DYTIKIS MAKEDONIAS (Greece).
COLLABORATING CENTRE ON SUBSTAINABLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION GGMBH (Germany).
FOMENTO DE CONSTRUCCIONES Y CONTRATAS SA (Spain).
GREENOVATE! EUROPE (Belgium).
KOUR SRL (Italy).
ASSOCIAZIONE REGIONALE DEI COMUNI DEL LAZIO-ANCI LAZIO (Italy).
LUNDS KOMMUN (Sweden).
AYUNTAMIENTO DE MADRID (Spain).
NOVAMONT SPA (Italy).
NUTRITION SCIENCES NV (Belgium).
FCC AQUALIA (Spain).
UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI MODENA E REGGIO EMILIA (Italy).
IRIS TECHNOLOGY GROUP (Spain).
STICHTING WETSUS, EUROPEAN CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE FOR SUSTAINABLE WATER TECHNOLOGY (Netherlands).
WATERSCHAP BRABANTSE DELTA (Netherlands).
ZETADEC B.V. (Netherlands).
In all 20 innovative results have been developed and tested during the project, including:
Technologies for smart collection and sorting of biowaste:
- Sensors for gas measurement (ITENE) .
- Algorithm for logistics optimisation (ITENE) .
- Monitoring system for bio-waste treatment plant (IRIS Technology Solutions) .
Improved valorisation processes to treat the Organic Fraction of Municipal Solid Waste (OFMSW) and HORECA waste:
- Production of low-cost concentrated sugars from organic waste (CENER) .
- Enzyme cocktails for the valorisation of organic waste (ASA) .
- Biopesticides from Solid State Fermentation (SSF) (Aeris) .
- Biobased biodegradable polyesters from OFMSW (Novamont).
- Insect rearing plant (UNIMORE & Kour Energy) .
- Insect fractionation plant (UNIMORE & Kour Energy) .
High-added value products from biowaste:
- Products from insect fractionation (UNIMORE & Kour Energy) .
- Feed ingredients from insects (Nutrition Sciences) .
- Extraction of Proteins from insect Larvae (Zetadec) .
- Nanochitin fibres (ITENE) .
- Chitosan PLA formulations (ITENE) .
- Chitosan PHB formulations (ITENE) .
Improved processes for the treatment of sewage sludge:
- Demo plant for the production of PHA (Wetsus & Waterschap Brabantse Delta) .
- Improvements of the whole sludge management line (Aqualia) .
- Production of organic compounds from biogas (Aqualia) .
Collaboration platforms and databases:
- Stakeholder Platform “The Biowaste Hub” (IRIS Technology Solutions).
- LCA databases about biowaste management and their related technologies (ITENE)
SCALIBUR Final Conference
To disseminate the results of the project, ITENE organised on 19 October 2022 a final conference on the project.