PERCAL will use Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) as a feedstock for developing intermediate chemical products, producing high yield with high purity, making it attractive for industry. These will be complementary to the bioethanol (existing PERSEO Bioethanol® technology), thus creating a cascade of valorisation from the MSW components.
PERCAL aims to produce three main compounds. Lactic acid, which can be used to make eco-friendly ethyl lactate. This can be used in cleaning products, in ink and for hot-melt adhesives for cardboard; succinic acid, as an intermediate building blocks for the production of polyols for the polyurethane industry as well as biosurfactants from the remaining fraction of the MSW fermentation.
The project should lead to four main innovations; new enzymatic cocktails to maximize hydrolysis of fermentable organic matter with low inhibitors production; high yield, specific and robust strains for each selected acid; extraction of fermentation by-products acting as inhibitors to succinic acid production via novel membrane electrolysis and optimised simultaneous saccharification and fermentation for lactic acid production followed by a downstream separation process. These should minimise issues of heterogeneous MSW composition
The project is one of the relevant initiatives supporting the development and uptake of bio-based products at European and regional level identified by BIOWAYS. They have collaborated with BIOWAYS by providing valuable insights into their work and meaningful evidence and information regarding a series of areas such as their expected outputs and market uptake, the legislation and policy framework that affects them, the user’s perspective on their outputs and the impact, visibility and exploitation potential of their project/outputs.