Value creation of organic waste streams – development of 2nd generation technologies

Scope of the project

The VISIONS project aims to identify the main organic waste streams and by-products in Flanders with the ambition to use these products in new value chains.
The project, a CINBIOS* initiative, is financially supported by the Flemish Agency for Innovation by Science and Technology (IWT). It is co-funded by a large consortium of companies interested in either valorising their waste stream or in finding alternative feedstocks for biobased processes. This consortium is monitoring and steering the project’s progress.

In the project, an inventory of organic waste streams and by-products that are abundantly available in Flanders is made up. The products are clustered depending on their composition. For each cluster, an efficient processing technology that turns the waste-stream into a valuable resource for new biobased value chains, is identified. Since these technologies are not making use of edible substrate, they are called 2nd generation.

Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant optimizes and demonstrates these 2nd generation technologies at an industrially relevant scale:

  • For lignocellulosic materials, the focus is on pretreatment technologies and hydrolysis of biomass into fermentable sugars. A biorefinery approach is used in which the use and valorization of all fractions is considered.
  • For waste oils and fats a decision tree is developed to assist in designing refinery and conversion strategies towards fuel applications. New technologies, such as enzymatic production of fatty methyl esters, are evaluated for their profitability compared to conventional methods. The feasibility of higher added value oleochemical applications are explored as well.

A first assessment of the techno-economical feasibility and logistics for the different biomasses and value chains is made.


Identification and establishment of new value chains based on organic waste and by-products in Flanders by:

  • Inventory and matchmaking of available biomasses
  • Clustering biomasses and identifying matching technologies
  • Optimization of technologies
  • Dissemination of results