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Developing Value Chains for Biorefineries in 6 EU Regions

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Leading organisations from 6 European regions are working with the Value Chain Generator® to develop new value chains for circular products. These regions plan to transform organic by-products and waste from the agricultural sector into high-value products, resulting in strong environmental and economic implications.

Planning new circular biorefinery projects is complex and risky, as several factors must be considered. Value Chain Generator® helps break down the complexity and connects the strategy with industry and technology data to de-risk the investments and match the right supply chain partners for successful execution. 

TeBiCE, Territorial Biorefineries for Circular Economy project

8 organisations from 6 EU countries are working together to plan and develop new value chains and biorefineries that will valorise the underutilised by-products and waste from the regional agri-food industries and transform them into a range of high-value products.

The potential is enormous, as about 1 billion dry tons of by-products and waste were produced in the EU in 2023, including nearly 500 million tons in the agricultural sector (European Commission, 2023). 

To valorise these underutilised resources, Value Chain Generator® is working with partners from 6 regions, including Veneto (Italy), Kujawsko-Pomorskie Voivodeship (Poland), Bavaria (Germany), Carinthia (Austria), Slovenia, and Slovakia. It supports the regional planning of circular supply chains and de-risking further investments. Using AI and big data analysis, it evaluates and prioritises the various business models for valorising locally generated by-products and waste. It is also matchmaking local supply chains to develop new partnerships for easier implementation of the planned technologies and value chains.

The Challenge

8 organisations will validate their circular bioeconomy strategy with the Value Chain Generator’s® technology and industry data to plan and develop regional pilots. 

Each partner has designed a plan to turn regional by-products and waste streams into new circular opportunities in their region.

Before implementation, the planned value chains will be tested for the main risk factors with the Value Chain Generator®: Where can sufficient quantities of the specific by-products and waste streams be obtained in the region? Which conversion processes and technologies are the most suitable and most likely to be successful? Is there a market for these new circular materials to make them financially feasible? 

Validating these key success factors with data is crucial in determining the feasibility and de-risking of new planned investments and circular value chains.

Circular Value Chain Examples

Each partner has prioritised specific by-products and waste from agriculture in their region. These can be processed in biogas plants or biorefineries and transformed into high-value materials. Below are selected examples to illustrate the challenge.

By-products of the wine-making industry

One region produces over 12 million hectoliters of wine and has a long wine-making tradition. It is looking for the best scenarios to turn the wine-making by-products into higher-value sustainable materials. The yeast used in the wine-making process can be turned into an animal feed ingredient. Furthermore, using the right technology, polyphenols and anti-oxidant molecules can be extracted from it and used in the pharmaceutical industry as a high-value-added product.

By-products of the brewing industry

Brewers’ Spent Grains are by-product of the brewing industry available in large quantities. They can be used in animal feed, turned into paper alternatives, sustainable biobased packaging material, or in biochar.

Hemp industry

Hemp and its by-products offer enormous potential for producing alternative materials. These range from well-known ones, like using hemp in textile and construction materials, to highly innovative ones, like making hemp biopolymer to replace petrol-based plastic in the 3-D printing industry.

How will the Value Chain Generator® support the circular transformation in 6 regions?

With many possible scenarios for different biorefinery projects and value chains, the Value Chain Generator® will apply its methodology to validate which planned projects are optimal for their regional industry landscape and have a high chance of success. It will also evaluate and prioritise the potential conversion process solutions.

When approaching such projects, there are three crucial success factors for the new circular value chains to work:

  • Adequate quantities of the right locally generated by-products and waste
  • Selection of the most suitable biorefining technologies and processes
  • Market demand for biobased circular materials

Value Chain Generator’s® BioLink algorithm will match the proposed solutions with real industry data in each region. With 500+ biorefining business models, technologies, and processes in its database, Value Chain Generator® will verify that the planned technologies and value chains are optimal for each industry and regional specifics. 

An additional outcome will be a list of high-priority regional companies to be approached for the new value chains for faster implementation.

Interested to know more?

Value Chain Generator® offers a wide range of solutions for organisations interested in seizing opportunities in organic by-products & waste and developing the circular bioeconomy.

Contact us and let’s discuss how the Value Chain Generator® can help with your specific challenges   –

TeBiCE, Territorial Biorefineries for Circular Economy project is co-funded by the European Union through Interreg Central Europe.

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