WP2 Food waste valorisation
The main aim of WP2 is to convert food waste into high value products. Acid fermentation in plug-flow reactors is used to implement an economical feasible method to use food waste as feedstock for bioprocesses. First, we collect and characterize the waste material from different canteens, which are delivered from the project partners. This material is converted to basic building blocks like carboxylic acids in a bioprocess. Different techniques as e.g. mono- or co-digestion are evaluated for the conversion to carboxylic acids. A detailed analysis of growth rates, butyric acid/propionic acid accumulation, bacterial vitality and viability is conducted on line and at line. In a second process step, the supernatant of the acid fermentation is used for the production of high value products as e.g. docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) for fish feed or components of PHB-based biopolymers are produced. The product yield and biomass production as well as by-product concentrations are measured and the process is evaluated in connection to different substrates and process conditions. The data gained during the various steps are provided to perform life cycle and economic analyses for evaluation with alternative food waste utilization pathways.