The EU and China are the two major players in the global bioeconomy with a high potential for cooperation. The EU-funded AgriLoop project will extend the agricultural production value of the EU and China by eco-efficiently upgrading underexploited residues into a portfolio of high-added-value bio-products able to generate new bio-based markets. The project will develop safe-and-sustainable-by-design (SSbD) bioconversion processes and integrate them into a cascading biorefinery approach, to convert agri-residues from tomato, soy, straw, potato, brewery, oil, winery and livestock sectors, among others, into plant and microbial proteins, polyesters and other bio-based chemicals. AgriLoop will strengthen EU-China cooperation, inform SSbD guidance and increase resource efficiency through reduced discharges of agricultural residues.
The 37 partners (half academic/private) of the International AgriLoop consortium aim to extend the agricultural production value of two major players of the global bioeconomy: EU and China, by eco-efficiently upgrading underexploited residues into a portfolio of high added-value bio-products able to generate new bio-based markets or to compete with, and gain market share of, oil- and food crops- based equivalents. AgriLoop will develop safe-and-sustainable-by-design (SSbD) bioconversion processes integrated in a cascading biorefinery approach to convert a range of agri-residues (from e.g. tomato, soy, straw, potato, brewery, oil, winery and livestock sectors) into plant and microbial proteins, polyesters and other bio-based chemicals to be used for food, feed, health and materials applications, especially by the farming sector. AgriLoop scientific and technical objectives are to i) improve the recovery of highly functional native molecules from primary and secondary residues and to tailor bioconversion schemes toward microbial proteins and polyesters, for overcoming in a balanced way the limitations related to feedstock complexity, processes eco-efficiency and end-products performances, and in parallel ii) anticipate the complex circularities of such biorefinery to comply with safe and sustainable requirements, guide scientific and technological advances of AgriLoop cascading processes toward end-products tailored to the just necessary (frugal design) and fast track their further adoption as demonstrated in upscaling selected biorefineries schemes. By strengthening EU-CN cooperation, informing SSbD guidance and opening up new avenues for flexible agri-based value chains, AgriLoop will increase resources efficiency through reduced discharges of agricultural residues, while taking share of the highly dynamic worldwide markets of alternative proteins and biochemicals (incl. biopolymers) and reducing the cost of agriculture and food system on our environment and health.