24 Nov 2017
Kick-off meeting of AFTERLIFE, a Bio-Based Industries project

The AFTERLIFE project (Advanced Filtration TEchnologies for the Recovery and Later conversIon of relevant Fractions from wastEwater) was launched on September 11th-12th 2017 on invitation of the Italian company EggPlant in Bari (Italy), the coordinating site of this new project from the EU H2020-BBI-JTI-2016 call.

The Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas (CIB) from the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) participates in this project which is granted with € 3.9 million. Work on this project at the CIB will be directed by Dr. Auxiliadora Prieto, Head of the Polymer Biotechnology Group, in the Department of Environmental Biology. The project is based on the collaboration between 3 academic and 12 industrial partners from 7 European countries (Belgium (2), Croatia (1), Finland (1), Germany (1), Italy (3), Portugal (1) and Spain (6)).

AFTERLIFE proposes a flexible, cost- and resource-efficient process framed in the zero-waste and circular economy approach for the recovery and valorisation of the relevant fractions from wastewater. The first step of such process is consisting of a cascade of membrane filtration units for the separation of the total of solids in wastewater. Then, the concentrates recovered in each unit will be treated to obtain high-pure extracts and metabolites or, alternatively, to be converted into value-added biopolymers such as polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA). Moreover, the outflow of the process is an ultra-pure water stream that can be directly reused. The outcomes of the project will be focused on: (1) demonstration of an integrated pilot using real wastewater from three water intensive food processing industries (fruit processing, cheese and sweets manufacturing), (2) demonstration of the applicability of the recovered compounds and the value added bioproducts in manufacturing environments. The design and optimisation of the AFTERLIFE process following a holistic approach will contribute to improve performance and reduce the costs associated to wastewater treatment by maximising the value recovery.

Afterlife has received funding from the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement N° 745737.

Further information, here.