Project PERCAL

Today in Europe each habitant generates around 500 kg of municipal solid waste (MSW) every year, which accounts for a total of 247 million tons of MSW in EU-28. The organic fraction of MSW (OFMSW) ranges between 30-50% of this amount, so that it is estimated that more than 100 million tons of municipal biowaste are yearly generated in our continent. Currently, 24% of MSW is landfilled, 27% is incinerated, 29% is recycled and 16% is treated by means of composting or anaerobic digestion (Eurostat, 2019). In spite of the strong shift from MSW landfilling in the last years to recycling of materials such as plastics, glass or metals and energy production from combustible fraction through incineration, there is still a challenge to turn the organic waste into higher value products than bioenergy or compost. PERCAL project introduced a new concept of biowaste valorization, with the aim of improving environmentally and economically the current MSW treatment model by producing added-value chemical products from the OFMSW with huge industrial interest. The valorization of the OFMSW will reduce pressure on conventional raw materials and will increase the competitiveness of European industry, contributing to the reduction of municipal waste flows to landfill and incineration. PERCAL is using previous knowledge developed by PERSEO technology (bioethanol plant with capacity to process 25 tons/day of OFMSW), as a starting point to produce new high added value bioproducts from OFMSW in a versatile biorefinery concept based on fermentation and valorization processes. - Lactic acid (LA) to produce eco-friendly solvents to be used in cleaning products and inks, and hot-melt adhesives to be used in cardboard packaging for non-food applications. - Succinic acid (SA) that was used as raw material for the production of polyurethanes for the textile industry. - Biosurfactants by extraction and modification of proteins and lipids from the by-products of the OFMSW fermentations that was used in cleaning products. Coordinated by: IMECAL S.A. Total budget: 3 394 181 € Grant: 2 518 517 €

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