Keywords: urban wastes, biorefineries, anaerobic digestion, biosurfactants, bio-based products, biowaste, waste management, biogas, soluble bio-organics
Biochemenergy: a project to turn an urban wastes treatment plant into biorefinery for the production of energy, chemicals and consumer's products with friendly environmental impact
Urban bio-wastes (UBW) contain soluble bio-organics (SBO) with excellent surfactant properties are proven or expected to perform as bio-based products for use in chemical and environmental technology, in agriculture and in animal husbandry as well as or better than commercial synthetic products. On these basis, UBW are proposed as renewable sources of a wide number of products with potential sale value ranging from one to several tens ? kg
?1. The expected economical and environmental impacts of scaling up the laboratory result to production and commercial level are evaluated based on a virtual scenario which comprises integration of SBO production technology into a waste management plant treating UBW by aerobic and anaerobic microbial digestion according to the current technology. The results point out that the integrated plant selling biogas and SBO is likely to yield six times higher earnings than the current plant whose revenue comes from biogas and compost.