An integrated, modular biorefinery for the treatment of food waste in urban areas

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Innovative and decentralized biorefineries are needed in urban areas to contribute to local resource efficiency. In this case study a biorefinery (waste-to-resource-unit, W2RU) is introduced for bioconversion of food waste using heterotrophic microalgae to protein-rich biomass, and for simultaneous extraction of high-value chemicals pigments (e.g., astaxanthin, β-carotene, lycopene, lutein, or riboflavin), vitamins (e.g., retinol, tocopherol, or ascorbic acid), and flavonoids from food waste. The W2RU is a compact and fully automated systems, which is applicable to recycle various biological waste streams. It consists of a module for the extraction of valuable compounds from wasted food. Remaining material will be sent to hydrolysis and hydrolysate applied as nutrient source in heterotrophic microalgae cultivation for production of protein-rich biomass. Such an approach can be integrated in urban infrastructure and the simultaneous production of various products from high-value chemicals to proteins revealed beneficial environmental impacts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100118
JournalCase Studies in Chemical and Environmental Engineering
Volume4
Number of pages4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12.2021

    Research areas

  • Environmental impact, Extraction, Microalgae, Urban areas, Waste-to-resource
  • Biology

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