BIOREFINA will develop a new circular model through a system of on-site production of three types of fertilisers obtained from its own waste biomass.
Biorefineries are facilities capable of transforming biomass into bioenergy and/or bioproducts in a sustainable manner. The objective of the bioREFINA project is to transform plant remains generated in fruit and vegetable farms in situ, such as crop residues, faulty products due to size or lack of quality, or other organic remains, into three high quality fertiliser bioproducts. In this way, a fruit and vegetable farm would go from buying fertilisers from third parties to producing its own biofertilisers made from its own plant waste or from its immediate environment under a circular economy model.
Biorefinery processes start with thermophilic anaerobic digestion to stabilise organic matter and reduce the risk of microbiological contamination. The biogas produced will be used as a renewable heat source to provide energy self-sufficiency to the subsequent processes of transforming the digestate into three fertiliser products:
The solid fraction of the digestate will be transformed by composting with other co-substrates into a functional organic amendment to improve soil quality and crop health, while the water and nutrients (mainly nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) in the liquid digestate will be used as liquid fertiliser in fertigation systems. A fraction of the liquid digestate will be used to grow microalgae and subsequently a microalgae-based biofertiliser rich in amino acids and plant hormones.
The fertilisers obtained through the bioREFINA system will stand out for their high hygienic quality and low carbon footprint, which are essential characteristics for fruit and vegetables sold in central and northern European markets that are particularly demanding in this area.
The R&D project will be developed by a business consortium led by the Murcian company AZUD, an expert in water technology and industrial filtration solutions, together with the Andalusian companies BIORIZON BIOTECH, specialising in microalgae, and the fruit and vegetable company MIGUEL GARCÍA SÁNCHEZ E HIJOS, as well as the Galician company JB INGENIEROS, specialising in anaerobic digestion and biogas.
The project is being developed within the framework of the 2016 call for subsidies aimed at promoting regional cooperation in research and development, ERDF-INNTERCONECTA Programme, of the Centre for Technological and Industrial Development (CDTI), under the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness, and co-financed with European Union Structural Funds within the Operational Programme for Intelligent Growth 2014-2020.
Together with AZUD, they participate in the bioREFINA project:
With the support of the following research centres: