Sustainable valorisation of fermentation waste by microbial metabolic modeling and extension of fermentation cascades (2021‒ 2023)
Project No. 22.214.171.124/VIAA/4/20/610
Source of funding: European Regional Development Fund Specific Objective 1.1.1 “Improve research and innovation capacity and the ability of Latvian research institutions to attract external funding, by investing in human capital and infrastructure” 126.96.36.199. measure “Post-doctoral Research Aid”. Project application selection round No.4.
Project period: 01.03.2021 – 30.06.2023 (28 months)
Total budget: 104 071.24 EUR (98 867.67 EUR from EU as ERDF funding; 5 203.57 EUR – from the University of Latvia)
Project leader: Researcher, Dr. Anna Stikane,
To provide methodology leading towards an optimal, circular and efficient flow of Fermentation Waste (FerW) and side-streams from one fermentation process to others. This methodology would encompass an integrated FerW valorisation system where the contents of feedstock, its bioconversion efficiency, and the related environmental and economic effects are considered.
Bioeconomy is a fast-growing field generating a range of bio-based products from biological feedstocks. A key enabler for bioeconomy is industrial fermentation (IF), which can be broadly defined as any process where microorganisms are used to transform biomass into useful products. These fermentation processes themselves create a diverse range of side-streams and waste, that could be valorised through anaerobic digestion, co-production of other products (e.g., biofuel and animal feed) or be used as feedstocks for subsequent fermentation cascades. This project will focus on methodology supporting decisions and evaluation of contents of various FerW as well as assessing the economic opportunities and constraints for further use of these FerW. The valorisation of the most promising FerW streams will then be explored by computational modelling to identify and rank potential bioconversion strategies according to specified efficiency criteria for selected FerW streams. Thus, the project focuses on sustainable growth of bioeconomy, paving way for predictive models to aid the design of more integrated bioconversion processes and biorefineries.
As a result of the project, the postdoctoral researcher will significantly improve her scientific, managerial and communication skills, which will help her achieve the status of an independent, mature researcher.
The project will promote the development and implementation of the smart specialization strategy area “Knowledge-intensive bioeconomy” through more efficient use of resources (eco-innovative products, new technologies), innovation capacity building, knowledge base and human resources development (knowledge-intensive bioeconomy), innovation systems (eco-innovative products) and overcoming social, environmental, climate and energy challenges.