We waste too much food and something needs to be done about it – as a priority. Food waste affects the environment, the economy and our communities.

Every year, 41 million tonnes of food gets wasted in the Europe Union during processing. This amounts to 33% of all food waste.

This level of food waste drives up management and operational costs as it requires landfill, transport, and treatment plants.

It also raises social issues. Globally, a third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted (1.3 billion tonnes per year). If only a quarter of this were eaten, it would feed 870 million people, 12% of the world’s population.

Model2Bio will develop a predictive model to help identify, select and reuse organic waste streams. The model will specifically cover stream composition, volume and transformation as well as logistics and business cases. The project started in May 2020 and will run until April 2023.  

Behind this EU-funded project are think-tanks, research centres, technology developers, universities, industry (mainly small and medium-sized businesses) and clusters from Spain, Belgium, Netherlands, Greece, Poland and Germany.

Expected results

Impact

Better insight

about the organic residual stream.

Thorough knowledge about the most relevant biological, chemical, mechanical and thermal processes

in which the agrifood industry residual streams can be reused to obtain added value bio-products and energy.

10% improvement in the yields of fermentation processes.

And 20% in the yields in extraction processes.

10% less agrifood industry waste that is landfilled or incinerated without energy recovery

in EU countries within 5 years of the project ending.

20% smaller carbon footprint

of the total waste management process.

30% of residual streams transformed into resources

for other bio-industries.

Logistic and residual stream management costs down by 20%, through improved storage, transport and management.

To increase income and business opportunities for agrifood and waste management companies.

A stronger and more sustainable European Union food and drink industry,

more environmentally friendly and profitable.

For bio-based industry, 5-10% higher revenue.

New market opportunities for the use of renewable resources. Turning residue management problems into economic opportunities.

A spin-off within 5 years of the project

ending to commercialise the software.

As a circular economy project, it has the potential to create new job opportunities.

It is expected that 5 new jobs are going to be created within Modle2Bio project.

Outcome

A software platform with a first level of validation in a real-life environment in 4 countries: Spain, Belgium, Netherlands, Belgium and Greece.

There will be a multidisciplinary team in each territory, called the Model2Bio Validation Club. This club will provide the operational and logistics information to feed the tool, define the scenarios to be verified, evaluate the results obtained by the tool, and propose improvements or new scenarios.

Although many commercial programs for modelling, evaluation and optimisation of industrial processes exist, Model2Bio will be the only one to simulate the entire value chain and process.

Technology

Model2Bio Simulation Module

It will predict the composition, nature and quantity of the agrifood residual streams, as well as the potential of each stream to be recovered. It includes 4 model libraries: production line, residual stream intermediate treatments, bioprocesses and logistics.

Model2Bio Optimization Algorithm

It will automatically calculate the best alternatives for managing, treating and reusing biodegradable residual streams. This is designed to consider all costs, boundaries and restrictions as way to bringing down global costs. 

LCA Module

After the algorithm has identified the best route alternatives, a set of commercial software programs will evaluate the associated environmental and social impacts. The LCA support is composed of three LCA analyses: Life Cycle Assessment, Life Cycle Cost Analysis and Social Life Cycle Assessment.

Decision-Support System Tool

A software platform that will integrate and combine the Simulation Model, the Optimisation Algorithm and the LCA Module to seek out the best routes for managing agrifood industry waste.