CENER (National Renewable Energy Centre of Spain)

Poster Presentation
W2S: Waste to sugars
Focus area / active in:
  • Bioprocesses & technologies
  • Green economy, circular economy, circular bioeconomy
  • Upscaling
  • biowaste
  • valorization
  • biorefinery
  • sugars
  • hydrolisis
  • upscaling
  • bioproducts

Across EU, around 100 million tonnes of biowaste are produced every year, with a management cost up to 143 billion euros. Considering the large amount of polysaccharides (30-40% cellulose, hemicellulose and pectin) of the biowaste stream, additional management and valorization efforts are essential for its valorization [1] [2]. In order to support the most adequate management and valorization routes of urban biowaste at different technological readiness levels, the Biomass Department of CENER [3] is focusing on the development and demonstration of a sustainable process for the production of a cost-competitive sugar concentrate to be used as building block by the biobased industry. This consists on a set of tailor-made pretreatment, hydrolysis, separation, purification and concentration processes to obtain a high sugar syrup suitable for microbial conversion before its fermentation into bio-based products such as alcohols, organic acids, microbial oils and hydrocarbons, biopesticides, enzymes, biosurfactants, and biopolymers. Thus, closing the gap between development and industrial applications and creating new business models contributing to circular biobased economy (H2020 SCALIBUR Project [4]). In detail, the organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMWS) of one of the largest capital cities of the European Union is supplied from las Dehesas waste management plant in Madrid to CENER BIO2C Centre for its conversion. Using an innovative enzymatic hydrolysis process at high-solid concentration, coupled with technologies to reduce the presence of inhibitory compounds (i.e. lactic acid) and also improve the viscosity and the pumpability, CENER is producing sugar enriched hydrolysate at 400-500 g sugar/l, showing yield results over 85% with the first optimized cocktails at pilot scale (200L) in the biochemical processes unit using OFMSW as feedstock. In the coming months, with the process optimized, modeled and validated, CENER will upscale the trials using 3.000L reactors, demonstrating thus the feasibility of the future Urban Biowaste Delocalized Sugar Biorefineries. Biorefineries that will be located integrated into Biowaste Management Plants, as a part of the whole, minimizing biowaste sugars degradation and producing a stable intermediate-bioproduct.


[1] Alibardi L., Cossu R. Composition variability of the organic fraction of municipal solid wast and effects on hydrogen and methane production potentials. Waste Management 2015; 36:147-155

[2] Springham, D., Moses, V., Cape, R.E. Biotechnology – Science & Business.1999. ISBN 9789057024078

[3] CENER, National Renewable Energy Centre. www.cener.com

[4] SCALIBUR H2020 – Project. https://www.linkedin.com/company/scalibur-project/

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Goizeder Barberena
Strategy & Business Development

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