The area of the Greater Region is famous for its breweries and the quality of the beer they produce. However, the industry produces huge quantities of organic by-products and waste, 90% of which is not reused but destroyed at high cost. This problem intersects with the need to produce substances of biological origin as an alternative to synthetic products used by the petrochemical industry.
The BIOVAL project seeks an innovative recycling solution for waste from the beer industry, as well as examining its impact on human health. Using the technologies of green chemistry and (white) biotechnology, new products and recipes with high added value will be developed for the chemical, pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food industries from this waste.
Arrondissement de Liège (BE), Département de Meurthe-et-Moselle (FR), Grand-Duché de Luxembourg (LU), Kaiserslautern (DE), and Regionalverband Saarbrücken (DE).
The project has been financed in the framework of Interreg Greater Region 2014-2020 with an ERDF contribution of about 1.8 million EUR under priority axis 1 “Competitiveness of SMEs”. The partnership is composed of universities, research centres and breweries from the project area, led by the University of Liège.
BIOVAL is an interdisciplinary project which has significantly contributed to strengthening cross-border cooperation in the field of R&D to develop R&I infrastructure and to promote research centers of excellence.
To reach this goal, it seeks to fully exploit the many valuable components in brewing residues. Starting from the analysis of the composition of the waste, the numerous components have been separated and used in a multitude of ways. For example, the proteins from the yeast cells served as a nutritional basis for other cells in bioprocess engineering to produce vinegar and flour, while other components were tested for pharmacological effects or for their suitability in the cosmetics industry. Moreover, the unsaturated fatty acids have been converted into biodegradable cutlery.
Due to the amount of residue, mass production is not possible at this stage, but the significant benefit of BIOVAL is that has laid the foundation for the development of a more circular economy in the field of renewable raw materials.