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: