Project Title
Multi‐purpose strategies for broadband agro‐forest and fisheries by‐products valorisation: a step forward for a truly integrated biorefinery
Project Type
Nacional / Public
Funding Body
Funding Program
Sistema de Apoio à Investigação Científica e Tecnológica (SAICT): Programas de Atividades Conjuntas (PAC)
  • CEB: 405 600,00
  • Total: 2 486 274,00
Universidade de Aveiro, Universidade do Minho, NOVA.ID.FCT - Associação para a Inovação e Desenvolvimento da FCT, Instituto de Biologia Experimental e Tecnológica, Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Universidade de Coimbra

Principal Investigator

Other Team Members - CEB


MultiBiorefinery aims at fostering Portuguese bio-based economy by bringing value to forestry, agro-food, and fisheries wastes and by-products. This is a multidisciplinary scientific research and / technological development proposal submitted by a consortium of six research units with complementary expertises to create synergies that capitalize and optimize existing means and resources and to generate critical mass that will accelerate the production of knowledge and solutions to societal challenges, mainly in food sectors ensuring environmentally friendly practices. It is our goal to develop and use multi-purpose strategies and sustainable innovative technologies, namely industrial biotechnology and green chemistry, for by-products valorization towards a truly integrated biorefinery dealing with multiple feedstocks. A series of case study of by-products from forest (Eucalyptus globulus stumps and knots, and Pinus pinaster bark and needles), agriculture (melon, winery and tomato by-products), and fisheries (fish bones, salt-cured codfish wastewater, cooking waters and head-space of cooking tanks from canning industry) will be transformed into added-value products using advanced cascading conversion technologies. The main end products will include biopolymers such as bacterial cellulose, and polyhydroxyalkanoates and a platform of biocompounds with biological activity, and even commodity chemicals and biofuels. More specifically, MultiBiorefinery will concentrate on extracting and characterizing high value products, obtained by clean extraction techniques; developing novel chemical transformation and bioconversion processes; formulating adequate forms for the storage, use and delivery of functional and bioactive extracts; evaluating toxicity and bioactivity of extracted and formulated compounds, using chemical, enzymatic and cell-based pre-clinical assays; demonstrating 2 of the new processes at pilot scale; and developing activities of process and value chain design with a focus on mathematical modelling, allowing for in silico optimization and process design scale up and extension of the concept to other by-products/value chains. MultiBiorefinery aims to contribute to stimulating some of the strategic axes of development embodied in the Portuguese Strategy for Smart Specialisation, notably the “Production Technologies and Process Industries” with particular emphasis on the “Green Chemistry” and “Industrial Biotechnology” subtopics. Also, its vision is aligned with the circular economy and industrial symbiosis concepts and the proposals of the resource-efficient Europe Flagship initiative under the Europe 2020 Strategy, supporting the shift towards a resource-efficient and low-carbon economy to achieve sustainable growth. One valuable aspect of this project is the commitment to training highly qualified human resources skilled to the challenges of the modern bioeconomy, and by the enrolment of PhD and Master students at all research units.


Suportado pelo Programa Operacional Competitividade e Internacionalização e Programa Operacional Regional de Lisboa na sua componente FEDER e pela Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT, IP) na sua componente OE.