Sustainable Use of biomass from Oleaginous processing

Publishable summary: 

The SUMO project aim has been to develop sustainable solutions and valorization alternatives for lignocellulosic by-products generated during rapeseed and olive oil processing. The consortium is composed by six partners with special interest due to the relevance of these products for the economy of the agri-food sector in their respective countries. The valorisation routes developed comprise the use of the biomass and its components in food, feed, cosmetics, agronomy and energy. Thus, the partners have complementary knowledge on the sector and previous experience in oilseed processing, phytochemicals extraction, oil extraction, microalgae production, food and cosmetic applications, feed formulation and supplementation, composting and energetic valorization: anaerobic digestion for biogas production, fermentative processes for biofuel production, gasification and pyrolysis. The general obtained result has been the design and proposal of several alternatives of bio-refinery processes adaptable to the current biomass processing and consumption sites in the different scenarios of the participating Countries. The alternatives intend to be flexible enough to process vegetable processing by-products and find synergies with other complementary wastes generated in the nearby. With a duration of two years, the main expected results of SUMO project are: the reduction of the environmental impact generated by the oleaginous processing sector; an improvement of the competitiveness of the industrial sector; the development of new high added-value products for food, feed and cosmetics sectors (at least 10 different end products have been developed); a waste reduction and the fulfilment and implementation of environmental regulations in waste management and renewable energies in the participating Countries. The project has been structured in Five Work Packages (WP) that encompass all key issues. The objective of WP1 was to make a detailed inventory and characterization of the by-products from rapeseed and olive oil production, a description of the current situation in the partner countries: process types, the byproducts management types, existing valorization routes, regional initiatives, legislative aspects and the identification of stakeholders for innovative valorization opportunities. Meanwhile, the objective of the analytical and experimental work in WP2 “Development of valorization approaches” was the development of different complementary valorization routes, as well as the characterization of the processes and obtained products, to obtain valuable information about the technical feasibility of the proposed biorefinery processes. As a result, 9 different protocols have been assayed and 10 assorted products obtained from olive pomace: olive polyphenols, microalgae biomass, feed formulations, biogas, biobutanol, biochar, briquettes for combustion and compost, as well as lipophilic extracts from rapeseed cake and an aquafeed feed formulation with the exhausted rapeseed cake. During the WP3, each partner has developed a Case Study, a practical example of the potential application of the technologies developed during the project in a scenario representative of their Country. Each of 6 case studies presents an analysis of the economic, legal, and environmental feasibility of the most promising of the proposed technologies; the definition of the conditions for the implementation of the valorization protocols and the possibilities of extrapolation to other production sites or scenarios. The WP4 objective was the dissemination and communication of the project, its progress and results, where many actions have already been carried out (webpage, brochure, 4 project newsletters, …). 6 dissemination sectorial workshops were organized at national level, one per partner and country, with the participation of the other partners, to communicate the results and get the feedback of the local industrials and other stakeholders. Several congress conferences and posters, seminars, technical and scientific papers have resulted from this activity and other are now in preparation. Finally, the WP5 was dedicated to “Project Management”: the administrative management, consortium coordination & technical meetings and technical reporting.