Conventional biorefineries target production of a single product stream utilising a dedicated crop based feedstock. Such processes offer limited commercial viability, generate significant waste streams and raise ethical and sustainability concerns with regards to the feedstocks used (competition with food crops & genetic modification to improve yield). Paralleling conventional petroleum refineries, integrated biorefining overcomes these limitations through utilisation of the wider biomass components to deriving multiple bulk and high value product streams (zero waste processes), thereby achieving commercial competitiveness in line with conventional refineries and enabling a transition from dedicated non-food crops to low cost, readily available and sustainable biomass. The Phytatec Technology Platform is built on this concept, combining environmentally benign critical fluid processes with the selectivity and efficiency of enzyme transformations.
The BREW-PACK project will apply and further develop the existing Phytatec platform for the integrated biorefining of brewers spent grain BSG (a readily available and low cost biomass feedstock), building on two core areas of innovation:
- Application and further development of existing critical fluid processes for the sequential hydrolysis and fractionation of BSG to lipophilic, proteinaceous and polar (carbohydrate rich) primary material fractions- New know-how, strategies and technological development for the separation and knowledge based transformation of BSG proteins, enabling development of multi-layer biopolymer films demonstrating enhanced performance and functionality suitable for innovative high value packaging applications
The project will conclude with a desk based feasibility study for design of a pilot and subsequent large scale plant, targeting establishment of supply chains worth over 72 million, generating ~450 new jobs and providing potential benefit to over 9000 wider SMEs.