To meet the globally increasing demand for proteins, the traditional feeding strategies of the livestock sector should be reconsidered. The huge amounts of urban bio-waste that are available, but not properly valorized, could play an important role. Valorisation of urban bio-waste for production of proteins can significantly contribute on the replacement of fishmeal and soybean meal proteins. In this project, a novel integrated concept is suggested for upgrading the underutilized urban bio-wastes (e.g. wastewater, industrial residues and organic household waste) into microbial protein.
The aim is to produce proteins from urban bio-waste in a quality that can substitute traditional proteins for animal feeding contributing to the frame of the circular economy. The specific aims of the project are:
1. Production of microbial proteins using biologically upgraded biogas derived from urban bio-waste.
2. Micro- and macro- nutrients recycling after anaerobic digestion of urban bio-waste for microbial protein production.
In brief, the project combines the well-established technology anaerobic digestion, the trending technologies of biological upgrading and electrochemical recovery of nutrients with the cutting-edge technology of fermentative microbial production. The 2nd generation production concept using liquid (i.e. recovered nutrients from reject streams) and gas (i.e. biologically upgraded biogas) streams of anaerobic reactors fed with urban bio-wastes for production of microbial protein will be examined. Biomass density, elemental and amino acid composition and purity of the final product will be monitored.
The project will be in close collaboration with industrial partners. Hence, the students are required to show a high level of organizational and communication skills (i.e. participate in project meetings, organize and analyse data with partners).