BIOREFINA will develop a new circular model through an in situ production system of three types of fertilizers obtained with its own residual 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 horticultural farms in situ, such as crop residues, shrinkage due to size or lack of quality, or other organic remains, into three high quality fertilizer bioproducts. In this way, a horticultural farm would go from buying fertilizers to third parties, to produce their own biofertilizers made from their vegetable waste, or from their immediate environment under a circular economy model.

The biorefinery processes begin with a thermophilic anaerobic digestion that stabilizes the organic matter and reduces 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 transformation of the digested product into three fertilizer products:

The solid fraction of the digest will be transformed by composting with other co-substrates into a functional organic amendment to improve soil quality and plant health of the crop, while water and nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium mainly) present in the Digested liquid will be used as liquid fertilizer in fertigation systems. A fraction of the liquid digested will be used to grow microalgae and later a microalgal biofertilizer rich in amino acids and plant hormones.

The fertilizers obtained through the bioREFINA system will stand out for their high hygienic quality and reduced carbon footprint, essential characteristics of the fruits and vegetables that are marketed in markets in central and northern Europe, especially demanding in this area.

The R&D project will be developed by a business consortium led by the AZUD Murcian company, expert in water technology and industrial filtration solutions, together with the Andalusian companies BIORIZON BIOTECH, microalgae specialists and the fruit and vegetable company MIGUEL GARCÍA SÁNCHEZ E HIJOS, as well as the Galician company JB INGENIEROS, specialized in anaerobic digestion and biogas.

AINIA Technological Center, with experience in the development of biorefineries, will carry out the technical coordination of the project. The consortium will also provide technological support to the research group of "Marine Microalgae Biotechnology" of the UNIVERSITY OF ALMERÍA and "Las Palmerillas" Experimental Station of the CAJAMAR Foundation. The team is completed with the management tasks that will be carried out by the Almeria research and development consultancy CLEVER I + C, specialized in Biotechnology and Agri-food.

In the recently announced 2016 FEDER-INTERCONECTA Program, co-financed with Structural Funds of the European Union, the Center for Technological and Industrial Development (CDTI), under the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness gave its support to the I + project D "BIOREFINERÍA FROM AGRICULTURAL AND LIVESTOCK RESIDUAL BIOMASS FOR THE OBTAINING OF BIOPRODUCTS OF SELF-CONSUMPTION IN HORTICULTURAL CROPS (bioREFINA)". The project began in October 2016 and will end in December 2018.

The success of the R&D project bioREFINA having been chosen among one of the projects financed under the demanding FEDER-INNTERCONECTA Program, lies in its total alignment with the new agricultural sustainability policies based on the bioeconomy models, through the implementation of practice a process of circular economy at the level of agro-industrial exploitation that, among other aspects, will contribute to the reduction of the use of mineral fertilizers, improvement of the energetic management of the exploitations, improvement of the horticultural productivity, as well as to the implementation of a system own management and recovery of waste.

This project is framed within the call FEDER INNTERCONECTA 2016, subsidized by the CDTI, supported by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness and co-financed with Structural Funds of the European Union within the Operational Program of Smart Growth 2014-2020.


European Union


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