The project will contribute to policy formulation in agri-food sector at EU level
The UCD School of Biosystems and Food Engineering is leading an €8 million Horizon 2020 research project involving a consortium of 26 partners from the EU, China and Hong Kong, to create a protocol for the implementation of the ‘circular economy’ across the agri-food sector.
The ‘circular economy’ is based on utilising waste streams as feedstock for new businesses, such as energy and biopharma, or replacing mineral fertilisers with nutrients extracted from agricultural wastes.
Pictured above: AgroCycle addresses the ‘circular economy’ by reducing waste all along the chain, and utilising waste as a feedstock for downstream industries such as pharmaceuticals and biochemicals.
AgroCycle will focus on the development of a sustainable bio-economy underpinned by the agri-food sector. The AgroCycle protocol aims to deliver a 10% increase in agricultural waste valorisation by 2020. Waste valorisation refers to the industrial processes of converting waste or sources of energy, by reusing, recycling, or composting, into more useful products, including materials and fuels. The project will also address pathways to deliver downstream industries including pharmaceuticals, biochemical and the production of bio-fuels and microbial fuel cells – an emerging technology based on the production of electricity from organic material.