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Last update: May 2021

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Urban or peri-urban agricultural, agro-industrial and city activities generate sources of biomass wastes still underexploited offering a feedstock for biorefinery. One way to use this biomass in  sustainable way is to implement of versatile small-scale biorefineries thay have to answer critical challenges to present benefits compare to large scale solutions:

-       Adaptation of processes: a major advantage of small scale biorefineries is the decrease of transportation and related logistics costs by the use of local feedstocks which induces compositional changes due to limited or seasonal supply. Type of biomass, availability in time and in quantities should be described according to the local context.

-       Mixtures of wastes with variable composition can offer a reliable supply feedstock allowing optimal use of process units over the but compositional changes affect the efficiency of the biorefining process and the yield of bio-product produced.  Predict biorefining efficiency with respect to local context. Optimization and adaptation of multi-feed processes to local feedstock supply are of prime importance to develop an efficient process. Process modelling is thus a key approach to propose to local actor the most efficient and economically efficient pathway.

-       Improve sustainability: Large-scale systems may have higher yields and thus can be cheaper per amount of product but require more capital-intensive processing. Economic sustainability of the SFB has to be secured by appropriate and simple technologies to yield products that can be use in specific and high value applications.

-       Integrate SFB in local socio-economical context: Small-scale biorefining involves integration of the whole production chains from the biomass producers (farm, agro-industries, waste managers, cities) to biorefinery operators and end-users (chemical industries, farmer, energy companies) to create short, local and optimized transformation chains and scatter operating units at most suitable actors of the value chain.

FLEXIBI proposes an integrated multidisciplinary strategy combining experimental and modelling approaches to build unique decision support tool to define the best biorefining pathway for multi-biomass feedstocks waste from urban and peri-urban areas.

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