At a glance

Title: Demonstration of an integrated innovative biorefinery for the transformation of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) into new BioBased products (URBIOFIN)


Type: Innovation Action – “Demonstration Action”

Project Budget: 15 M€

Project coordinator: PERSEO Biotechnology S.L. (PERSEO)

Partners involved: The URBIOFIN Consortium is composed of 15 recognized key actors on the topics of Waste management, Bioprocessing technologies (industrial processes relying on biological agents to drive the process), Bioproducts (products that are manufactured using biological material as feedstock) and Biomaterials, Biofuels, Municipal Solid Waste, industrial processes and integration.

  • Industry: URBASER S.A., BIOMASA PENINSULAR S.A., Novozymes A/S, NATUREPLAST SAS, NATRUE AISBL, IRIS Technology Solutions S.L., Leygatech SAS, ETAM SA
  • Research Organisations: ainia, Wageningen University & Bioresearch, Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas Medioambientales y Tecnológicas, IRIAF (CLAMBER Biorefinery), Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas
  • Universities: University of Valladolid


Topic: Valorisation of the organic content of Municipal Solid Waste and contributing to the renewable circular economy

Duration: June, 1st 2017 – September 30th 2022

Abstract: Today, in Europe, each inhabitant generates in average 0.5 tonnes of municipal solid waste (MSW) per year. Around 40-50% of it corresponds to organic waste. This organic fraction mainly contains carbohydrates, proteins and lipids, which are all useful raw materials that can be converted to valuable products. Its valorisation will help to solve environmental pollution, but also contribute to the transition from a linear to a renewable circular economy. Digestion and composting have contributed to the reduction of the biodegradable fraction of MSW sent to landfill. However, the low economical value of compost and biogas is limiting the sustainable implementation of separate sourcing systems. New bio-based products obtained from waste treatment can contribute to the environmental and socio-economical sustainability. Therefore, the aim of URBIOFIN project is to demonstrate the techno-economic and environmental feasibility of the conversion at semi-industrial scale (10 T/day) of the organic fraction of MSW into: Chemical building blocks (bioethanol, volatile fatty acids, biogas), biopolymers (polyhydroyalkanoate and biocomposites) or additives (bioethylene, microalgae hydrolisated for biofertilisers). By using the biorefinery concept applied to MSW, URBIOFIN will exploit the organic fractions of MSW as feedstock to produce different valuable marketable products for different markets like agriculture and cosmetics.