EU consortium delivers new products and technologies to make the most of biowaste

Partners in the SCALIBUR project have developed a range of innovative technologies to improve the collection and management of biowaste, and its valorisation into new products such as biopesticides and biodegradable polyesters.

The Horizon 2020 project SCALIBUR (Scalable Technologies for Bio-Urban Waste Recovery) ended on 31 October having achieved its mission to deliver new innovations in the field of biowaste management.

20 partners from eight EU countries, including leading waste management companies, technology developers and research organisations, have collaborated closely for four years to co-develop a range of new solutions. The innovations were presented at the occasion of the project final conference on 19 October in Valencia at the headquarters of the research centre ITENE, coordinator of this project.

In all 20 innovative results have been developed and tested during the project. This includes new technologies for smart collection and sorting of biowaste, such as sensors for gas measurement (ITENE), an algorithm for logistics optimisation (ITENE) and a monitoring system for biowaste treatment plant (IRIS Technology Solutions).

Further processes offer new valorisation routes for organic waste. A biochemical route allows for the production of concentrated sugars from organic waste (CENER), utilising new enzyme cocktails specifically developed for biowaste hydrolysation (ASA), which are used for the production of biobased biodegradable polyesters (Novamont). Downstream partners have produced biopesticides from both the liquid hydrolysate by fermentation (CENER) and the solid hydrolysate, by Solid State Fermentation (Aeris).

Another route has seen the development of insect rearing and fractionation plants (UNIMORE & Kour Energy) enabling the extraction of proteins from insect Larvae (Zetadec) for feed ingredients (Nutrition Science), and the production of other biomaterials including Nanochitin fibres (ITENE) and Chitosan PLA & PHB formulations (ITENE).

Innovative processes for the treatment of sewage sludge were piloted, such as a demo plant for the production of PHA (Wetsus & Waterschap Brabantse Delta) as well as production of organic compounds from biogas (aqualia) and improvements in the whole sludge management line (aqualia).

Partners have also developed collaboration platforms and databases, including a Stakeholder Platform “The Biowaste Hub” (IRIS Technology Solutions) and LCA databases about biowaste management and their related technologies (ITENE).

The sustainable management of food and biowaste is essential for the creation of a circular bioeconomy in Europe. The solutions developed by SCALIBUR will help municipalities to improve the way they collect and treat biowaste, increasing circularity and creating new business opportunities

César Aliaga, SCALIBUR project coordinator and Head of Packaging and Circular Economy Unit at ITENE

More information about the individual results can be found within the conference conclusions at:




The SCALIBUR project has received funding of €10 million from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement nº 817788.



Project Coordinator: César Aliaga,

Project Communications: James Ling,

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