LIFE Project Cover Photo

Biogas and digestate with controlled ammonia content by a virtuous biowaste cycle with integrated bio&chemical processes

Reference: LIFE16 ENV/IT/000179 | Acronym: LIFECAB



The yearly production of municipal bio-waste (MBW) in Europe is estimated to be in the range of 76.5-102 Mt (metric tonnes). MBW mainly includes waste coming from green public areas and discarded food. The former typically includes 50-60% water and wood while the latter contains up to 80% water but no wood. MBW management may include prevention at source, collection or treatment by anaerobic digestion, composting, incineration or landfilling. The environmental and economic impact of the treatments depend on local conditions such as population density, infrastructure and climate, as well as on markets for associated products.


The LIFECAB project aims to demonstrate the replicability of a virtuous bio-waste treatment cycle. This cycle will take place at real or close to real operational conditions involving biochemical and chemical processes within a hydrolysis prototype (HP) facility. Composted municipal bio-waste will be hydrolysed to yield soluble bio-based substances (SBO) which will in turn be used to improve the anaerobic fermentation process of the MBW plant and increase biogas productivity and quality. Digestate with very low content of ammonia will also be produced thus addressing the provisions of the Nitrates Directive.

The project also aims to demonstrate to demonstrate a new business model for the valorisation of bio-waste in a real operational environment with reduced entrepreneurial risk in three different EU countries. This can catalyse the rise of the first MBW refinery producing eco-friendly and cost-effective biogas and products for the chemical industry, agriculture and animal husbandry. The results of the project will contribute to the implementation of the requirements foreseen by the Circular Economy Action Plan and the Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe.

Expected results: The LIFECAB project aims to achieve the following results:

  • Development of a hydrolysis prototype for the production of bio-based products from municipal bio-wastes from different EU countries;
  • Production of 50 tonnes of soluble bio-based substances (SBO) to be used as an additive in anaerobic digestion tests performed at pilot scale;
  • Validation and replication of a new municipal bio-wastes (MBW) anaerobic fermentation process with the addition of SBO for producing digestate with very low ammonia content;
  • Expected yearly outputs from an MBW plant treating 105 MBW tonnes/year of 8.6 Mm3 of biogas, 6 000 tonnes of digestate, 5 400 tonnes of compost, and 1 000 tonnes of SBO from hydrolysis;
  • Demonstration of a business model with low entrepreneurial risk for the valorisation of MBW as a source of SBO; and
  • Economic benefits of the new fermentation process compared to conventional technology at EU level.


    Reference: LIFE16 ENV/IT/000179
    Acronym: LIFECAB
    Start Date: 03/07/2017
    End Date: 30/06/2021
    Total Budget: 2,462,957 €
    EU Contribution: 1,466,913 €
    Project Location:


    Coordinating Beneficiary: Hysytech S.r.l.
    Legal Status: PCO
    Address: Strada del Drosso, 33/18, I-10135, Torino, Italia
    Contact Person: Simone SOLARO
    Tel: 390113970273

    LIFE Project Map



    • Bio-waste (including food waste)
    • Circular economy and Value chains


    • waste treatment
    • food production
    • fertiliser
    • biogas
    • resource conservation


    • COM(2015)614 - "Closing the loop - An EU action plan for the Circular Economy" (02.12.2015)
    • Directive¬†2008/98 - Waste and repealing certain Directives (Waste Framework Directive) (19.11.2008)


    Name Type
    Hysytech S.r.l. Coordinator
    Sewerage Board of Limassol – Amathus, Cyprus Participant
    Cyprus University of Technology, Cyprus Participant
    Organohumiki Thrakis, Greece Participant
    ACEA Pinerolese Industriale S.p.A., Italy Participant
    Università degli Studi di Torino, Italy Participant
    POOL.ITI S.r.l., Italy Participant
    Agricultural University of Athens, Greece Participant