The WASTE2FUNC project aims to resolve supply chain hurdles towards the efficient conversion of food (crop) waste into two types of biobased functional molecules for use in home and personal care applications: lactic acid and microbial biosurfactants, functionally outperforming or equalling their respective fossil-based and/or 1G bio-based benchmarks. The project commenced in June 2021 and will conclude in November 2024. 

A new and sustainable biomass waste supply chain will be set up, in close interaction with the primary sector, by developing an ‘ad hoc’ registration- and collection system for erratic agricultural biomass waste and integrating this new biomass supply chain with an existing industrially available and continuous food waste stream, currently converted into biogas. This integration is crucial to build viable business cases associated with the WASTE2FUNC supply- and -value chains.

NNFCC are leading on two work packages, one mapping waste supply chains and the other developing business models for 2nd generation lactic acid and fermentation-derived biosurfactants. For feedstock mapping, NNFCC will use their in-house expertise on waste generation, waste avoidance trends and the valorisation of waste, to assess availability of agri, industrial and consumer organic waste in Belgium and the rest of Europe. For business model development, NNFCC will work together with the project's exploitation partners to carry out market research on lactic acids and biosurfactants, and assess the costs of the technology and feedstocks to define selling prices for both products. NNFCC will also assess the opportunities for job creation associated with full-scale implementation of these technologies. In collaboration with the relevant partners, business cases will be developed for both second-generation lactic acid and second-generation biosurfactants. In addition, NNFCC will develop a business case for an integrated biorefinery making first-generation biosurfactants together with second-generation lactic acid. Finally, NNFCC will release two-page business teasers to attract investment into full-scale biosurfactant and lactic acid plants.

Project Partners:

  • Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant, BE (Coordinator)
  • Ghent University, BE
  • TripleW, ISR
  • City University of Hong Kong, HK
  • Ecover, BE
  • Evonik, DE
  • Organic Waste Systems, BE
  • Arche, BE
  • Innovatiesteunpunt voor Landbouw en Platteland, BE
  • Biogas Solutions, BE

The WASTE2FUNC project receives funding from the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No. 101023664.

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