BioWILL - Integrated "Zero Waste" Biorefinery utilising all fractions of Willow feedstock for the production of high to medium based Bio-Chemicals/Materials, Renewable Energy in the form of Bio Methane production and Natural Fertilisers


Project Summary

Project Summary

What is BioWILL?

BioWILL is a Interreg NWE funded project focusing on Integrated "Zero Waste" Biorefinery utilising all fractions of Willow feedstock for the production of high to medium based Bio-Chemicals/Materials, Renewable Energy in the form of Bio Methane production and Natural Fertilisers.

BioWILL consists of 10 project partners in four countries across Northwest Europe (Belgium, France, Ireland and United Kingdom).

 

Why is the project necessary?

Existing biorefinery technologies focus on food waste (AgriChemWhey), algae (Abacus), forestry residue (Bioforever) for the production of biopolymers, chemicals e.g. butanol, resin acids or lignin. BioWill will focus on high value bioactive extractives (salicins) for medical applications while using the bark-free pulp for manufacturing food packaging materials with any waste and residues used for biogas and biofertilizers.

There is no extractive based cascade biorefinery within the EU, its establishment & replicability will be of significant economic benefit. Willow bark is one of the few plant materials to contain substances (salicins) which are as effective as synthetic equivalents for analgesic & anti-inflammatory properties, with fewer undesirable side effects. 

 

How can BioWILL help?

BioWILL will deliver a biorefinery model for Northwest Europe using Willow, by producing high value salicylates from willow bark for medical applications. The bark residue and bark-free willow pulp will be converted into safe food quality packaging material to replace fossil derived plastics. The end of life packaging will be hydrolysed and used as a feedstock in an innovative bio-energy anaerobic digestion system producing biogas suitable for grid injection. Technology demonstrations will validate how technology integration can increase efficiency, qualifying as “best available practice”. Intensive market, regulatory, financial, technical & environmental analysis will produce a “toolkit” (LCAs, business models, etc) for dissemination to all market actors via an extensive communications programme. 

 

Project Partners

Lead partner

Organisation Address Email Website
University of Limerick Castletroy
Limerick
V94 T9PX
Ireland
j.j.leahy@ul.ie www.ul.ie
Name Contact Name Email Country
Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute Chris Johnston chris.johnston@afbini.gov.uk United Kingdom
Cellulac PLC Gerard Brandon gjbrandon@cellulac.co.uk United Kingdom
Epitheal Ltd John Prendergast jpprend@gmail.com Ireland
Gas Networks Ireland Ian Kilgallon Ian.kilgallon@gasnetworks.ie Ireland
Bangor University Adam Charlton adam.charlton@bangor.ac.uk United Kingdom
Materia Nova Olivier Talon Olivier.Talon@MATERIANOVA.BE Belgium
European Landowners' Organization Marie-Alice Budniok legal@elo.org Belgium
University College Cork Cathal O'Mahony c.omahony@ucc.ie Ireland
Agriland Damien Deriberolles damien.deriberolles@agrilandfrance.fr France
Renewable Gas Forum Ireland PJ McCarthy pj@renewablegasforum.com Ireland
Crops4Energy Kevin Lindegaard kevin@crops4energy.co.uk United Kingdom
Helicon Process Development Solutions Peter Holly peter@heliconpds.com Ireland
IT Tralee - Shannon ABC Niall Burke niall.burke@ittralee.ie Ireland

University of Limerick

The University of Limerick (UL) was established in 1972 as an independent, internationally focussed university with over 11,600 students and 1,300 staff. Its mission is to promote and advance learning and knowledge through teaching, research and scholarship in an environment which encourages innovation and upholds the principles of free enquiry and expression. Particular attention is paid to the generation of knowledge for the needs of Ireland's continuing socio-economic development.

Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute

Leading provider of scientific research and services to Govt, Non-Govt and commercial organisations. AFBI specialises in areas of Environmental Protection, Grassland & Plant Sciences, Sustainable Livestock, Animal Health & Welfare, Fisheries and Aquatic Ecosystems, Food Quality and Safety & Economics. AFBI currently researches the use of Willow corps for Environmental protection and sustainable bioremediation solutions for the agri, landbased, water utility and environmental sectors.

Cellulac PLC

Cellulac is a vertically integrated group of companies based in the United Kingdom. Activities undertaken by these companies range from the production of biodegradable plastic ingredients and natural-oils to expertise in consumer marketing in cosmetics, food and health care industries. The production division capabilities include process engineering, chemical engineering, biochemistry and polymer science.

Epitheal Ltd

Epitheal is a science driven dermatology company, researching and developing formulations to promote healthy skin focusing on conditions using natural compounds as the basis of their research such as salicylic acid. Epitheal also focus on the varying application of natural compounds treating a wide range of diseases worldwide.

Gas Networks Ireland

Gas Networks Ireland's core purpose is to ensure that over 673,000 homes and businesses receive a secure supply of natural gas, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Gas Networks Ireland own, operate, build and maintain the natural gas network in Ireland and connect all customers to the network. In Ireland, Networks runs the transmission system, which is linked to the UK and Europe. Gas Networks Ireland is a regulated utility, regulated under license by the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER).

Bangor University

The remit of the Biorefining-Technology Transfer Centre (TTC) has since broadened to include work on the wider aspects of biorefining, including biomass fractionation and the study of a wide range of biobased products for applications across many different sectors. These include the use of plant fibres and biopolymers such as PLA and starch for food/ materials packaging and he extraction of speciality chemicals from biomass using supercritical carbon dioxide technology, for the cosmetics sector.

Materia Nova

Materia Nova is a Research Centre that plays a bridging role between fundamental research and industrial development in various fields such as polymer engineering, surface treatments, biomaterials, biotechnology and eco-design of innovation. Materia Nova is involved in both B2B industrial projects and collaborative public funded projects. The YLCA unit of Materia Nova has been involved in collaborative R&D projects monitoring those by providing environmental evaluation (LCA) and eco-design.

European Landowners' Organization

ELO is committed to promoting a sustainable and prosperous countryside and to increasing awareness relating to environmental and agricultural issues. Engaging various stakeholders, ELO develops policy recommendations and programmes of action. ELO organises interdisciplinary meetings gathering together key actors from the rural sector and policy makers at the local, regional, national and European level. Its ability to do all of this assures ELO its unique position among the think tanks.

 University College Cork

MaREI is a centre of excellence for marine and renewable energy research, development, and innovation. The Centre is multi-disciplinary comprising research groups and industry partners, with the shared mission of solving the main scientific, technical and socio-economic challenges facing marine and energy sectors. Bioenergy is a core research area with a focus on renewable gaseous biofuel production from 2nd generation biofuel substrates such as wastes, agricultural residues and energy crops.

 Agriland

For more than 30 years, Agriland SA role is to review the operating scheme of these farms. Land improvement operations and the introduction of new crops are carried out under our control while preserving the agronomic value of the land and improving the biodiversity and managing the climate challenges. In addition, we are active in many associations. AGRILAND is a member of Friends of the Countryside and de facto active in the European Landowners' Organization.

Institute of Technology, Tralee

Shannon Applied Biotechnology Centre (ABC) is an Enterprise Ireland funded Technology Gateway, and Research Centre, that is a collaboration between the Institute of Technology, Tralee and Limerick Institute of Technology. Shannon ABC’s vision is to be a leading centre for the development and application of science and technology to applied settings, in collaboration with external organisations, and based on our own research. Shannon ABC responds to the challenges of biotech, food and life science industries through the sustainable development of viable and cost-effective processes and products from bio-resources. This collaborative and risk management approach improves our client’s competitiveness and competence and facilitates the transfer of these innovative scientific solutions.

Helicon

Helicon Process Development Services is a dynamic and innovative partner in the world of process engineering support services. From concept design to project delivery we are here to provide the technical and organizational supports and skills that are required to meet the challenges that arise with every project. We work to transform basic science into commercial reality. Our skill in project managing technical transfer, scale-up and the design of unit operations is complemented by our ability to manage the construction of a working facility including the building fabric and services needed to support that facility.  

BioWILL Newsletter Nr 01

The first BioWILL Newsletter is available on all the project progress to date. Read it here. 

In the Press



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