Mushroom production generates five million tons of compost each year in the European Union. This compost is currently landfilled or used for landscaping purposes even though it contains valuable organic components. In view of transforming this compost into a new income stream for mushroom producers, the BIOrescue project will develop innovative conversion processes to create bio-based products from mushroom compost.
“The technology development inherent in BIOrescue will offer great opportunities to create value from by-products from mushroom processing. This will generate significant incomes for the sector while supporting the move towards a circular economy” says Philippe Mengal, Executive Director of the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking in Brussels.
The project will bring together a multidisciplinary team of eleven partners comprising one large company, several SMEs, as well as two universities and two research institutions. Together, the project partners will develop a new biorefinery process that will allow the conversion of mushroom compost into innovative bio-based products such as bio-pesticides, bio-degradable nanocarriers for drug or fertliser encapsulation and bio-based horticultural fertilisers.
By delivering innovative solutions to increase the efficiency of biomass conversion and reduce water and energy consumption, the experts involved in the project will ensure the sustainability of the novel process. To strengthen the competitiveness of the newly developed bioproducts in relation to their fossil-fuel based alternatives, project partners will assess the economic and environmental impact of the whole process.
BIOrescue is coordinated by CENER (Spanish National Renewable Energy Centre) and will be run in cooperation with 10 European partners: Monaghan Mushrooms Ireland, Università degli studi di Napoli Frederico II, MetGen Oy, Clea Technologies, Zabala Innovation Consulting, Max-Plank Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften, Celignis Ltd., Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine, C-Tech Innovation and Greenovate! Europe. This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 720708.