AgriChemWhey third newsletter issue



agrichemwhey newsletter 1


An integrated biorefinery for the conversion of dairy side streams to high value bio-based chemicals

AGRICHEMWHEY, a project that is receiving funding from the BBI JU, is building a first-of-a-kind, industrial-scale biorefinery to valorise dairy processing by-products into several added-value bio-based materials for growing global markets, such as lactic acid (LA). This Flagship project aims to also prove the techno-economic viability of this innovative biorefinery technology. A major objective is to establish a new industrial symbiosis value chain with other local stakeholders for the production of high value sustainable food and feed products from the processes side streams, creating an enhanced circular bioeconomy for the agriculture and agri-food waste – tackling one of the major sustainability issues of the dairy industry.

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Project News

Since the last newsletter in January 2019 there has been considerable progress made across all work packages. Trial work has been ongoing in the pilot plant and feedstock characterisation work has been completed. Significant fermentation volumes at scale, and multi-repeat batch mode have been demonstrated. Characterisation work on the pilot plant side streams is at an advanced stage. Downstream process validation is ongoing with all process equipment installed, commissioned and in-validation. Finally and most significantly we have carried out lab scale lactic acid distillation trials with product generated by the AgriChemWhey process. The quality of this lactic acid material meets all required specifications.

Are you looking to make an impact in the European Bioeconomy?

Would you like to take part in our survey to provide insight on expected trends and challenges for the bioeconomy related to the AGRICHEMWHEY project? You will be mentioned as a contributor within our Communication, Dissemination and Exploitation Report and help shape our associated strategy for the project life time. By sharing your knowledge with us, you will get direct insight in to the value you can obtain from our innovative process and it’s multiple products. Get in touch with us directly at all details will remain confidential at your discretion.



Release of AGRICHEMWHEY Animation Video


On 8th February 2019 the first AGRICHEMWHEY animation video was released providing a narration of the project for a wide-ranging audience. This is available on Youtube.

Feature in

On 13th February 2019, published a feature on the AgriChemWhey project as an opportunity to add value to the processing of milk. Featuring quotes from Hilda Keane, Project Coorindator at Glanbia, this piece was also included in their weekly newsletter.


Published in Process Worldwide

On the 13th February 2019, Process Worldwide published an article identifying the AgriChemWhey process as a major industrial venture to convert residues from food processing in a bid to enhance the circular bioeconomy through agriculture and agri-food waste.


Published in Envirotec Magazine

In February 2019 Envirotec Magazine featured the AgriChemWhey project as it reached operational Pilot Plant stage. It detailed that the project would establish new value chains for industrial symbiosis with other local actors and would create several added value products for global markets including lactic acid, polylactic acid, minerals for human nutrition and bio-based fertilisers.


Publication in Reference Module in Materials Science and Materials Engineering

On 16th April 2019, AgriChemWhey’s project partner, Trinity College Dublin, contributed towards a publication in Reference Module in Materials Science and Materials Engineering titled: ‘Advanced Separation Processes for Recovery of Critical Raw Materials from Renewable and Waste Resources’. The article highlighted critical raw materials immense potential to be solely and collectively recovered as economically significant nutrients from waste and renewable sources.


PNO UK Representing AGRICHEMWHEY at IBioIC’s Annual Conference

On 30th-31st January 2019, AgriChemWhey’s project partner, PNO UK, exhibited at IBioIC’s Annual Conference 2019, Industrial Biotechnology for a Sustainable Future. This event took place in Glasgow, Scotland with over 450 biobased professionals visiting.

The plenary sessions took a high-level view of where the IB sector is currently, what contributions IB can make to future sustainability goals, and the funding landscape from an IB perspective and track sessions included streams on both established and emerging supply chains and showcases of IBioIC’s PhD projects and the innovations, successes and challenges of network members.

AGRICHEMWHEY School Workshops

Across 6 dates in March, April and May, Trinity College Dublin have delivered an AgriChemWhey and Biobased Plastics workshop to 130 TY students. The children participated by making biobased plastic from starch and varying the amount of oil and vinegar to the mixed slurry to identify how this affected the properties of the final biobased plastic. Additionally, in teams the students were given a jigsaw’ type puzzle with pictures and information highlighting the process through which we make plastic from oil (fossil fuels), corn/sugar beet, potato or whey permeate and de-lactosed whey permeate (AgriChemWhey process). Students then present their life cycle to each other and are promoted to think critically on the sustainability of each life cycle.

AGRICHEMWHEY at World Bio Markets 2019

On 3rd April 2019, AgriChemWhey’s coordinating partner, Glanbia, was invited to speak at the World Bio Markets annual event. Bill Morrissey, Project Manager at Glanbia contributed to the Building a Bio-Based Industry session with a presentation on the AGRICHEMWHEY project and a place in the panel discussion titled Agriculture is the original bio-based industry: maximising the growing opportunities found within it. The event took place over the 2nd-3rd April 2019 at the Passenger Terminal Amsterdam. To give insight in to how industry sectors really work, the Building a Bio-Based Industry stream focused on some of the most  innovative and successful markets, the Scale Up & Process Technology stream provided extensive detail on the technical process of the path to commercialisation, giving real world insights to the challenges, solutions and areas of  growth available for those manufacturing bio-based products and chemical and Sustainable Brands looked at questions the public are asking around how bio-based and sustainable products can provide the answers.


AGRICHEMWHEY and KARMA2020 Workshop at The International Conferences on Green Chemistry and White Biotechnology

On the 8th-9th May 2019 the 5th edition of the International Conferences on Green Chemistry and White Biotechnology took place at the Gosselies Point Centre in Belgium. The focus of the event this year was polymers from alternative raw materials and ecocircularity of those polymers. The purpose of the conference was to take stock of the innovative technology used to boost activities in the fields of green chemistry and white biotechnology around the world, to share knowledge and encourage the creation of new R&D projects involving the academic world, research centres and industrial players in the sector at regional and international scale.

Professor Ramesh Babu, as a representative from Trinity College of Dublin presented on both the opportunities and challenges of bioplastics in a session dedicated to alternative raw materials and Dr Bill Morrissey, as a representative from Glanbia presented the AgriChemWhey project within the same session.
On the second day of the event there was a workshop hosted specifically by AgriChemWhey and Karma2020 which showcased the two projects within the context of symbiotic industrial and agricultural value chain and valorization of agri-food waste into biopolymers for packaging. The projects shared and compared their lessons learned and good practices regarding the symbiotic value chain building and how this could be applied in Wallonia.

AGRICHEMWHEY at the Plant Based Summit

On the 22nd-24th May 2019 in Lyon, France, AgriChemWhey’s project partner, Greenwin, attended the Plant Based Summit 5th Edition and contributed as a Bronze sponsor with over 700 participants attending over the course of the event. The Plant Based Summit had more than 100 international key speakers providing first-hand insights and updates with the 2019 congress focused on stimulating biobased product development through a market driven approach.

AGRICHEMWHEY at Launch of the ICT-BIOCHAIN Digital Innovation Hub

On the 13th June 2019, Ireland’s National Bioeconomy Campus hosted a showcase event focused on the digitisation of Ireland’s agri-food, forestry and bioeconomy sectors. Leading digital technology providers demonstrated their latest innovations, and delegates from bioeconomy sectors learned about the role that ICT, Industry 4.0 and Internet of Things is playing to digitise the EU bioeconomy. The event was the launch of ICT-BIOCHAIN, Europe’s first Digital Innovation Hub for a Circular Bioeconomy, another BBI JU project which will support Ireland’s transition to a competitive data-driven bioeconomy.

New Colleagues

Since the publishing of the last newsletter, there have been several new employees hired to contribute to AGRICHEMWHEY:
  • Ekaterina Makshina, Project Manager at KU Leuven
  • Greta Giedraityte, EU Project Assistant at PNO Consultants (Brussels-EU Office)
  • Filoklis Pileidis, Grants and Innovation Consultant at PNO Consultants (Brussels-EU Office)

Upcoming Bioeconomy Events in 2019

  • Biobased Coatings Europe 2019 Summit, 19th-20th June 2019, Dusseldorf
  • SynbiTech2019, 24th-25th June 2019, London
  • FEMS2019, 7th-11th July 2019, Glasgow
  • BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology, 8th-11th July 2019, Iowa
  • Algae Biomass Summit, 16th-19th September 2019, Orlando
  • Trends in Biotechnology, 31st October 2019, Galway
  • European Summit of Industrial Biotechnology, 18th-20th November 2019, Austria

This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 744310.