Pan European Networks - Horizon 2020 - page 233

Africa, more than 25% of all fruit, vegetable and plant
production ends up as biowaste due to undeveloped
harvesting technologies and lack of storage
capacities. The Biowaste4SP project is a European Commission
project with the aim of developing environmentally appropriate and
socioeconomically sustainable biotechnological processes for
converting biodegradable fractions of identified African and
Mediterranean biowaste into food, feed, value-added products for
nutraceuticals and healthcare, biogas, and organic-based fertiliser,
thereby improving the circular bioeconomy in Africa.
Depending on the feedstock characteristics, different value-added
products are being considered in this project. Nutrient-rich
(lignocellulosic-based) feedstocks have been tested for co-
production of biogas and high quality organic fertiliser, and
sugar-rich (starch-based) feedstocks have been tested for a range
of sustainable end products, e.g. bioethanol, lactic acid and
amino acid from fermentation of cassava peels, whole crop
banana and rice bran. Integrated processes combining
fractionation of other value-added products, e.g. proteins,
arabinoxylan etc., from monomer sugars for the bioconversion
process have been developed. The technologies developed rely on
simple and locally available equipment and naturally occurring
micro-organisms. Lifecycle analysis and socioeconomic studies
ensure local applicability in the target countries.
Six PhD and postdoc students are educated during the three-
year project period. Developed protocols and templates ensure
that replications and procedures are done with a high quality
of documentation.
A catalogue with identified biowaste feedstock available in the
five African partner countries (Egypt, Kenya, South Africa, Ghana
and Morocco) is under development through the project and will
be presented as a text book at its end (December 2015). This
catalogue will contain a list of identified biowaste resources and
their chemical components of sugars (cellulose, hemicellulose
and starch), as well as contents of plant nutrients and potential
yields of selected products, i.e. bioethanol, biogas, lactic acid,
amino acid, protein and fertiliser. In addition, a report recording
the prototype story of the integrated process for converting
biowaste, e.g. rice bran, into value-added products, e.g. proteins,
bioethanol, biogas, biofertiliser etc., in pilot scale will be delivered
at the end of the project.
The Biowaste4SP project will contribute to the achievement of the
Millennium Development Goals by improving the management of
biowastes in developing countries and thus reducing their
potential adverse impacts on human and animal health, the
environment and the economy.With partners from Africa, Asia,
Europe and the Middle East, the project also offers the
opportunity to improve networks and communication between EU
researchers and the third country partners, sharing experiences,
knowledge and best practices.
Anne-Belinda Bjerre
Project leader, Professor, Senior Consultant
te l :
+45 72202912
A running European Commission project for improving the circular
bioeconomy of biowaste in Africa through sustainable conversion of biowaste to
value-added products
Biowaste for
sustainable products
H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L
S P E C I A L F E AT U R E : E U R O P E & A F R I C A
Xiaoru Hou, PhD, Consultant
Danish Technological Institute
Small scale cassava processing in Ghana 2013
© Mathias Gustavsson
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