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Research and development on the use of bio-based raw materials in the agricultural sector

Every year around 1,800 million tons of liquid manure are produced in Europe. Land use of slurry, fermentation residues from biogas plants and other agricultural residues provide agricultural soil with valuable organic matter and essential nutrients that help meet plant nutrient needs and maintain soil fertility. In areas with intensive livestock farming, however, land use is not always possible due to the already high nutrient content of the soil.

Pilot plant for processing livestock manure: Pig manure has a high water content of 90 percent; other components are valuable plant nutrients, above all nitrogen and phosphorus, as well as indigestible feedstocks such as plant fibers. In the BioEcoSIM project, various processes for converting the components of livestock manure into high-quality fertilisers were developed and integrated as separate modules in a single pilot plant. This makes it possible to treat the fertiliser directly at the point of origin. This works with superheated steam in a closed system and thus achieves high energy efficiency. Microorganisms are completely destroyed. If necessary, the dried organic components are converted into organic biochar at over 300 ºC by a pyrolysis process in an atmosphere of superheated steam, as in the drying step.

For more information please visit the website of our technology partner – Fraunhofer Institute.


Reduced water and energy consumption in milk processing

The dairy industry is an important sector of the food industry with a turnover of EUR 124.3 billion and a value added of EUR 17.4 billion p.a. It is a high energy and water consumer, both overall and per unit production. 98 % of the fresh water used has drinking water quality. 80 % of the energy consumption is used for process heat, pasteurisation, sterilisation, drying and cleaning.

At EnReMilk, case studies show energy savings of at least 20 % and water savings of at least 30 % that are reproducible in both SMEs and larger dairies. Emerging and novel engineering technologies are optimised and implemented in key dairy operations to ensure significant and simultaneous water and energy savings while ensuring food quality and safety.

For more information please visit the website of our technology partner – Fraunhofer Institute.



Non-thermal processes in wine production

to reduce or avoid sulphides or other preservatives in wine.

The PreserveWine project provided high quality scientific and technical information on a novel non-thermal process called Pressure Change Technology (PCT). This process is a non-thermal preservation method to prolong the shelf life of liquid foods. In the case of wine, the process allows the reduction of sulphite addition, which is commonly used to inactivate yeasts and microbial spoilage.

PCT generally uses the higher solubility of gases under pressure. The main advantages of this technology are that the heat unstable components, colour and taste remain unchanged and the amount of oxygen in the wine is significantly reduced to avoid oxidation. The consortium of the PreserveWine-DEMO project aims to increase the scope and impact of the research results obtained in the previous project and to transfer the PCT technology to an industrial scale. To achieve this goal, process demonstration at industrial sites is required to confirm long-term performance, operating costs and profitability.


Information about this research project can be obtained from our technology partner – Fraunhofer Institute.


Conversion of agricultural residues into stable raw materials for biochemical and bioenergy use.

The overall concept of SteamBio is to create a commercially viable platform that can stabilize biomass materials close to the source for subsequent biochemical and bioenergy use. The platform will be scalable and will enable both mobile deployment according to seasonal requirements and fixed location for high throughput.

The core technology is the use of superheated steam. Superheated steam is an efficient heat transfer medium used on an industrial scale in drying applications. On a pilot scale, it has proved successful to convert various biomass materials into hydrophobic and grindable solids with the additional benefit of extracting volatile compounds as by-products. The continuous technology platform for hot steam processing in SteamBio is scalable and has proven itself on an industrial scale with temperatures up to 300 °C. The continuous technology platform for hot steam processing in SteamBio is scalable and technically proven on an industrial scale with temperatures up to 300 °C.

SteamBio overcomes many of the limitations of existing torrefaction approaches, with all exits clean and unpolluted by exhaust fumes, allowing for maximum value recovery and minimal environmental impact..