MultiBiorefinery: Valorization of agroforestry and fishing waste

From January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2019, ESB will be involved in the MultiBiorefinery project, funded by the Compete program for a total value of two and a half million euros. This work, led by the University of Minho, the University of Aveiro, NOVA.ID.FCT - FCT Innovation and Development Association, the Institute of Experimental and Technological Biology and the University of Coimbra also participating, intends to take a step in the creation of an integrated biorefinery.



MultiBiorefinery aims to promote the Portuguese bio-economy through the valorization of by-products and forest residues, agro-food and fisheries. It is a multidisciplinary scientific research and technological development project, presented by a consortium of research units with complementary skills, which will seek to capitalize and optimize existing resources and create critical mass to accelerate the production of knowledge and solutions to societal challenges, especially In the health and food sectors, ensuring environmentally friendly practices.



The objective of the MultiBiorefinery project is to develop and use multi-purpose strategies and innovative and sustainable technologies, using industrial biotechnology and green chemistry, for the valorization of by-products and waste in order to move towards a truly integrated biorefinery capable of dealing with diverse raw materials.

Case studies will foccus forest by-products (Eucalyptus globulus roots and nests and Pinus pinaster bark and needles), agriculture (by-products of melon, wine cellar and tomato) and fishing (fish bones, cod and baking equipment of the canning industry) with a view to processing them into added-value products.

The main end products will include biopolymers and a range of bioactive compounds, base chemicals and biofuels.

More specifically, the MultiBiorefinery project focuses on:

  • the extraction and characterization of high value products obtained by sustainable techniques;
  • the development of new processes of chemical transformation and bioconversion;
  • the formulation of suitable forms for the conservation, use and incorporation of bioactive and functional extracts;
  • the evaluation of toxicity and bioactivity of compounds extracted and formulated using preclinical tests (chemical, enzymatic, cellular models);
  • the demonstration of new pilot-scale processes.

The MultiBiorefinery project aims to contribute to stimulate some of the strategic axes of the development devoted to in the National Strategy for Intelligent Specialization, namely Production Technologies and Process Industries, with special emphasis on Green Chemistry and Industrial Biotechnology.

In addition, it is a project whose pipeline is aligned with the concepts of Circular Economy and Industrial Symbiosis and with the proposals of the European Resource Efficiency Initiative under the Europe 2020 Strategy to support the transition to an efficient use of resources in an economy Low carbon technologies in order to achieve sustainable growth.