Category: Standardisation, LCA, labelling and regulatory hurdles

SUSTCERT4BIOBASED project

SUSTCERT4BIOBASED project

This project ends on: 31/05/2025

Sustainability certification for biobased systems

SUSTCERT4BIOBASED in a nutshell
In the transition from a linear fossil-based economy towards a circular biobased economy, numerous biobased value chains have been set up at different levels of development, and several new biobased products have been introduced to the market. Biobased products are wholly or partially derived from biological resources, but still, it is important to ensure their sustainability considering the range of environmental impacts, as well as to ensure their social and economic sustainability.
To this end, a plethora of sustainability certification schemes and business-to-business labels have been developed to allow traceability and transparency of sustainability impacts along the value chains and trades. Today, it is essential to evaluate the credibility of these tools and support their harmonization. This is where SUSTCERT4BIOBASED comes into play!
SUSTCERT4BIOBASED aims to develop a monitoring system to assess the effectiveness, robustness and completeness of the existing certification schemes and labels, identify their strengths and weaknesses and promote the adoption of the best-in-class examples. The interdisciplinary consortium will also be reviewing and analysing the existing sustainability certification schemes and business-to-business labels; creating a database of global trade flows for biological resources and biobased products, and carrying out costs and benefits analysis from the adoption of certification schemes and labels in selected industrial biobased value chains. In this vein, the consortium will engage a variety of relevant stakeholders such as international organisations, industrial biobased value chain actors, scheme owners, certifications bodies, regional bioeconomy actors, and policy makers, and will offer recommendations for the adoption of effective and robust sustainability schemes and labels.

Contacts:

Iris Vural Gursel (Coordinator): iris.vuralgursel@wur.nl

Annie Kalimeri (Communication): akalimeri@white-research.eu

Pinelopi Kaslama (Communication): pkaslama@white-research.eu

website: https://sustcert4biobased.eu/

Bio4Africa project

Bio4Africa project

This project ends on: 30/05/2025

Diversifying revenue in rural Africa through circular, sustainable and replicable bio-based solutions and business models

Africa will need to feed over 2 billion people by 2050 while coping with unprecedented demographic, socio-economic, environmental, climatic and health transitions. Meanwhile, undernourishment is still on the rise, affecting almost 20% of its population now. Under this light, ensuring Africa’s food security becomes imperative, with the bioeconomy posed to play a leading role to this end. It is against this backdrop that BIO4AFRICA sets off to support the deployment of the bioeconomy in rural Africa via the development of bio-based solutions and value chains with a circular approach to drive the cascading use of local resources and diversify the income of farmers. Our focus is on transferring simple, small-scale and robust bio-based technologies adapted to local biomass, needs and contexts (green biorefinery, pyrolysis, hydrothermal carbonisation, briquetting, pelletising, bio-composites and bioplastics production). In doing so we aim at empowering farmers to sustainably produce a variety of higher value bio-based products and energy (animal feed, fertiliser, pollutant absorbents, construction materials, packaging, solid fuel for cooking and catalysts for biogas production), significantly improving the environmental, economic and social performance of their forage agri-food systems. To this end, we have set up 4 pilot cases with over 8 testing sites in Uganda, Ghana, Senegal and Ivory Coast, offering more than 300 farmers and farmer groups of all sizes (incl. small dairy and lower-income farmers, women farmer groups and transhumant pastoralists among others) the opportunity to test them in real productive conditions. Along the way, our balanced mix of 13 African and 12 EU partners will engage in solid multi-actor collaboration with rural communities and government, co-developing novel sustainable value chains driven by circular business models and supporting deployment in other areas, all while safeguarding agronomic, environmental, social and economic sustainability.

Contacts:

Knud Tybirk: kt@foodbiocluster.dk

website: https://www.bio4africa.eu/

BeonNAT project

BeonNAT project

This project ends on: 30/06/2025

Innovative value chains from tree & shrub species grown in marginal lands as a source of biomass for bio-based industries

BeonNAT project proposes to use marginal lands in Europe (estimated 4.3 M km2 and 0.4M km2 of agricultural and forest marginal in EU-28, respectively) to obtain forest biomass for the production of 8 products based on new biobased value chains: essential oils, extracts, wood paper, particleboard, bioplastics, biochar, active carbon and absorbents. This way, BeonNAT will allow for the production of biodegradable bio-based products and bioactive compounds that will play an important role to replace fossil-based competing substitute products.

Contacts:

Luis Esteban (Coordinator): luis.esteban@ciemat.es

Iciar Serrano (Communication): iciar.serrano@contactica.es

website: https://beonnat.eu/

LABPLAS project

LABPLAS project

This project ends on: 31/05/2025

LAnd-Based solutions for PLAstics in the Sea

Plastic is pouring from land into our oceans at a rate of nearly 10 million tonnes a year. Once in the sea, plastics fragment into particles moving with the currents and ocean gyres before washing up on the coastline. The smaller the size the higher the risk posed by these particles to organisms and human health. EU-funded LABPLAS will develop new techniques and models for the quantification of small micro- and nano plastics (SMNP). Specifically, LABPLAS will determine reliable identification methods for more accurate assessment of the abundance, distribution, and toxicity determination of SMNP and associated chemicals in the environment. It will also develop practical computational tools to facilitate the mapping of plastic-impacted hotspots and promote scientifically sound plastic governance.

Contacts:

Cynthia Gómez (Project Manager) – cynthia.gomez@uvigo.gal

website: https://labplas.eu/

SusFeed project

SusFeed project

This project ends on: 31/12/2025

Sustainable feed production from Norwegian bio-resources for livestock and aquaculture

In recent years, considerable attention has been given to identifying sustainable and cost-effective animal feed materials to address issues such as food security, GhG emissions, climate change, and, in Norway, ambitious targets to increase salmon production. This search for novel feed ingredients and sources is creating new opportunities for companies working with bioresources. One option is the use of new feed technologies that promise to enhance food security, lower GhG emissions, promote sustainability and create new industries for food production in Norway. This is likely to dramatically transform the existing feed system. While there has been a focus on developing new feeds, we have very limited knowledge on the overall feed system and how it is changing – knowledge that is critical for meeting the future needs of the agri- and aquaculture sectors.

How sustainable will the feed system be and how can we sustainably source feed in the volumes required? The aim of SusFeed is to develop an in-depth understanding of the feed system: how feed can be harvested, produced, processed and distributed to supply the growing and changing needs of Norway’s agri- and aquacultural sectors. For this, we will apply a systems approach to mapping the domestic feed system and, using a systems model, conduct environmental, social and economic sustainability assessments. SusFeeds multi-disciplinary team involves researchers from the social sciences, biology, agronomy, nutrition and technology, working closely with 18 business partners, stakeholders and other interest groups involved in the feed value chain. Our primary output will be a model of the Norwegian feed supply system that maps potential domestic feed ingredients, their potential for industrial up-scaling and sustainability. This will provide the basis for the establishment of a future feed supply system that operates across sectors and incorporates potentially disruptive technologies and innovation the coming decades.

Contact:

Egil Petter Stræte
email: egil.petter.strate@ruralis.no

website: https://ruralis.no/en/projects/susfeed-baerekraftig-norsk-forproduksjon/

BL2F project

BL2F project

This project ends on: 30/09/2023

Black Liquor to Fuel

Aviation and shipping sectors are two areas of transport that are expected to grow at an incredibly fast rate, and so will their greenhouse gas emissions.

To tackle this challenge the BL2F project (Black Liquor to Fuel) will create a new, clean fuel to be used as an alternative to current fossil fuels.

BL2F is a Horizon 2020 project that will take the waste-stream of the pulp-and-paper industry, called Black Liquor, and create an end-to-end chain to produce a biofuel ready to be used in plane and ship engines. The process begins at the pulp mill, where Black Liquor will be converted into a biofuel intermediate using a novel integrated Hydrothermal Liquefaction (IHTL) concept. The biofuel intermediate will then be refined and upgraded to produce aviation and marine fuel. All the production steps in BL2F, will be optimised to make the process economically and technically feasible.

Led by Tampere University, the consortium consists of a mix of 12 partners which all bring in different resources and expertise to help ensure the project’s success. Employing the BL2F process can reduce waste, cost, greenhouse gas emissions, and contribute to a circular economy. Large-scale use of the processes and fuel developed by the project can be an important asset in the fight against climate change

Contact:

Prof. of Practice Tero Joronen
email: hello@bl2f.eu

website: https://www.bl2f.eu/

BIO-PLASTICS EUROPE project

BIO-PLASTICS EUROPE project

This project ends on: 30/09/2023

Developing and Implementing Sustainability-Based Solutions for Bio-Based Plastic Production and Use to Preserve Land and Sea Environmental Quality in Europe

The project BIO-PLASTICS EUROPE addresses the topic „Sustainable solutions for bio-based plastics on land and sea“ (Topic identifier: CE-BG-06-2019), within the focus area „Connecting economic and environmental gains – the Circular Econonmy (CE)“ and will focus on sustainability strategies and solutions for bio-based products to support the Plastics Strategy. This shall include innovative product design and business models facilitating efficient reuse and recycling strategies and solutions, including ensuring the safety of recycled materials when used for toys or packaging food stuffs. In line with the EU strategy on international cooperation in research and innovation and in order to encourage the further replication, the European consortium is complemented by a partner in Malaysia, providing an added value and helping them to address the many problems they face.

Contact:

Dr. Jelena Barbir
email: Jelena.barbir@haw-hamburg.de

website: https://www.bioplasticseurope.eu/

Talent4BBI project

Talent4BBI project

This project ends on: 31/08/2026

Talent4BBI, the first industry led PhD MSCA programme is being led by BiOrbic, the Bioeconomy SFI Research Centre located in University College Dublin (UCD). Talent4BBI brings together 10 industry and 7 academic partners across 8 Member States and 1 Associated Country with the aim of training a cohort of 11 highly skilled industry-ready ESRs equipped to lead the future of the European bio-based industry sector. The programme provides a unique opportunity for Early-Stage Researchers (ESRs) to develop key skills, competencies and experience required by the bio-based industries through a targeted programme for future bioeconomy leaders. During the 60-month programme duration, the 11 ESRs will undertake PhDs of 48 months cohosted by industry and academia. The ESRs will be recruited and co-hosted by a consortium of 16 partners across 8 Member States and 1 Associated Country (7 universities and 9 leading bio-based industries) with a wealth of collective experience in training talented mobile researchers. 3 additional industry partners will also contribute their expertise to the PhD training programme.

The programme structure offers a unique opportunity for graduates to thrive in an industrial and academic research setting and enhance the ESR career opportunities in line with the MSCA COFUND work programme objectives.

Talent4BBI’s selection process will be guided by principles of openness, transparency, merit, impartiality, and equality for the ESRs. Talent4BBI will impact the European Research Area through developing a uniquely qualified and career-driven talent pool, driving effective cooperation between industry and academia, and boosting the development of bio-based industries.

Contacts:

Prof. Kevin O’Connor – Programme coordinator
Cathy Quinn – Programme manager

email: Talent4bbi@biorbic.com

Founding source: Talent4BBI project is cofounded by H2020-EU.1.3.4., H2020-EU.1.3.

Website

HOOP project

HOOP project

This project ends on: 30/09/2024

HOOP: Hub of circular cities boosting platform to foster investments for the valorisation of urban biowaste and wastewater

The HOOP project supports 8 lighthouse cities and regions in developing large-scale urban circular bioeconomy initiatives that will focus on making bio-based products from urban biowaste and wastewater. Specifically, HOOP will provide Project Development Assistance (PDA) to Albano-Laziale (Italy), Almere (The Netherlands), Bergen (Norway), Kuopio (Finland), Münster (Germany), Murcia (Spain), Greater Porto (Portugal), and Western Macedonia (Greece).

The HOOP Urban Circular Bioeconomy Hub will create an online platform to foster knowledge exchange and replication in cities and regions across Europe.

Contacts:

Coordination
Gemma Castejón, CETENMA: gemma.castejon@cetenma.es

Martín Soriano, CETENMA: martin.soriano@cetenma.es

Communication
James Ling, Greenovate! Europe: j.ling@greenovate-europe.eu

Founding source: Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme

Website

UNLOCK project

UNLOCK project

This project ends on: 30/04/2025

Unlock: Unlocking a feather bioeconomy for keratin-based agricultural products

As Europe continues on its trajectory to a circular bio economy, much of the work in achieving this will lie in identifying and developing new or more efficient value chains from existing waste streams. One such waste stream is in the poultry sector, where more than 15 million tonnes of meat are produced annually. While much of the waste here is already valorised, the vast quantity of feathers produced are unexploited. Currently, only around 25% of feather waste is collected; what is gathered is frequently used for meal and fertiliser applications, which are seen as mid- to low-value applications, with low margins to match.

However, feathers are made up of nearly 90% keratin, a valuable protein that can provide a resource for biodegradable materials, including bioplastics, with applications in agriculture. The UNLOCK project seeks to demonstrate how to release the value inherent in this waste stream, by developing smart logistic strategies and efficient feather biorefineries based on steam and pressure hydrolysis -. Ultimately, this will help to establish a feather-based bioeconomy that can generate innovative bio-based functional materials for agricultural applications.

By overcoming many of the existing difficulties in collecting and processing feathers obtained from slaughterhouses, the UNLOCK project aims to position this waste chain from feathers as a source of raw material for keratin for use in agriculture. It will find applications in products such as forest and seed trays, nonwoven geotextiles, hydroponic foams and mulch films. The advantages of these materials include biodegradation aligned to the duration of crops, the capacity to add nitrogen back to soils and generating zero waste at end-of-life.

Contacts:

Sarah Montes, Project Coordinator: smontes@cidetec.es

Capucine Pineau, Communication and Dissemination Manager: c.pineau@greenovate-europe.eu

Founding source: Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) under the EU Horizon 2020 programme

Website