Title: Techno-economic and profitability analysis of food waste biorefineries at European level
Citation: BIORESOURCE TECHNOLOGY vol. 259 p. 244-252
Publication Year: 2018
JRC N°: JRC110236
ISSN: 0960-8524
URI: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960852418303547?via%3Dihub
DOI: 10.1016/j.biortech.2018.03.016
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Food waste represents a potential source to produce value-added materials replacing the use of virgin ones. However, the use of food waste as feedstock in biorefineries is still at an early stage of development and studies assessing its economic viability at large scale are lacking in the literature. This paper presents a techno-economic and profitability analysis of four food waste biorefineries that use wastes from tomato, potato, orange, and olive processing as feedstock. The study includes the assessment of potentially available quantities of those waste flows in Europe. Due to the low technology readiness level of this kind of biorefineries, a screening methodology to estimate the investment and manufacturing costs as well as two profitability ratios (the return on investment and the payback time) was adopted. Results show that not all the waste feedstocks have the same potential. The most profitable options are those related to implementing fewer plants, namely concentrating the production and capitalising on economies of scale while being at risk of increasing externalities, e.g. due to logistics of the feedstocks.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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