Press release

ASEBIO presents an initiative that converts agricultural waste into useful products
Visit to CLAMBER
As part of the European ValorPlus project in which ASEBIO participates, today we visit the CLAMBER biorefinery in Puertollano (Ciudad Real), at the beginning of which the Association played a leading role as a promoter of the bioeconomy in Spain.
Puertollano (Ciudad Real), 8th November 2017.The Spanish Association of Biocompanies (ASEBIO) has organized today the demonstration event "Zero-Waste Biorefineries" with a visit to the pilot R&D biorefinery plant in Puertollano (Ciudad Real). This visit is part of the European project in which we participate, ValorPlus (VALORISING BIOREFINERY BY PRODUCTS), from which we seek to generate sustainable and economically viable "integrated" biorefineries that make full use of biomass, minimizing the production of waste and generating the maximum possible value from the available resources.

“This visit is a great opportunity to discover how processes work within the circular economy. This new concept of biorefinery in which the project is involved is a definitive step forward in eliminating the problems associated with the generation of waste, giving them a value in response. Thus, a significant increase of its profitability and competitiveness against its petrochemical equivalents is achieved, thanks not only to the improvement of the efficiency of the process by treating a multi-product, but also by giving a new value to something that at first seemed to lack it. We must give greater importance to byproducts and bioprocesses to create a positive perception and facilitate their access to the market”, explained the Delegate of the Industrial Biotechnology Commission of ASEBIO, Javier Velasco.
ASEBIO is, within this European consortium, the entity in charge of the dissemination and exploitation ValorPlus results, whose results could be scaled in the CLAMBER biorefinery.

VALOR PLUS project is compused in five key areas:

• Pre-treatment and fractionation: development of a novel methodology for the controlled breakdown, release and fractionation of the lignocellulosice biomass.
• Hemicellulose Valorisation: engineering of new enzymes and microorganisms for the controlled hydrolysis and transformation of hemicellulose to high value oligomers and bulk fermentation product streams.
• Lignin Valorisation: utilisation of combined chemo-enzymatic and chemo-microbial processes for the controlled depolymerisation and transformation of standardised lignin feedstocks to value product streams.
• Glycerol Valorisation: engineering of new microorganisms suitable for the fermentation of crude glycerol to higher value product streams.
• Demonstration of the technological and economic potential: demonstrating component technologies, roadmaps for technology and product stream integration, case studies and a full life cycle assessment.

The principal products obtained in the lignin value chain has been bioplastics such as PHA (polyhydroxyalkanoates). In the valorization of glycerol, through the purification and fermentation with lactic acid bacteria of crude glycerol, it has obtained products such as lactic acid, used in the production of PLA in the plastics industry and as a food additive. In the hemicellulose process, it obtained through fermentation processes of monosaccharides butanol, single cell proteins for food and xylitol (a low calorie sugar substitute), as well as prebiotics from the obtained oligosaccharides and purified during the process.


- Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs), which are precursors of bioplastics for agriculture, bags, boats, etc.
- Citric acid. It is currently used as a food additive (acidulant, preservative, antioxidant) and as detergent and can be used as a starting compound to reach other more complex compounds.
- Succinic acid. The same as the previous one, it is used as a starting material for the manufacture of a very wide variety of products: polyurethanes (compounds used in the manufacture of polyurethane foams, used in the construction of cars, building panels), additives for paints and coatings, adhesives, sealants, artificial skins, food additives, cosmetics and personal hygiene products, biodegradable plastics, nylon, industrial lubricants, phthalate-free plasticizers, pharmaceuticals, etc.


The CLAMBER project, in whose beginnings and creation ASEBIO has participated, gives a differential value with respect to any other project currently promoted in Europe, not only for its capacity to produce a wide variety of raw materials, but also due to the proximity of a petrochemical cluster like the one in Puertollano, which enables auxiliary industries in the area, and facilitates all aspects of logistics by reducing transport and supply costs.
The CLAMBER R & D Biorefinery is a public facility, belonging to the CLM Regional Institute for Research and Development in Agrifood and Forestry (IRIAF), at a demonstration scale that is at the service of companies to perform scaling tests, optimization of bioprocesses, development of new bioproducts, studies of technical and economic viability, training, etc. in terms of material recovery of biomass. It supposes a high added value because it allows a monitoring, analysis and validation of the whole process of scaling from laboratory to the semi-industrial stage, allowing the identification of defects, barriers and opportunities of the process, allowing to include, test and refine the necessary changes in our process to become optimal, reducing delivery times and investment costs, and validating it for industrial development. Having an almost industrial size, it can treat almost 2 tons per day of lignocellulosic biomass and also has a fermentation train that goes from 3 liters to 20,000, therefore the results obtained are much more representative and reliable.

In Europe there are few reference centers for the demonstration and development of bioprocesses. Some relevant examples are: the pilot plant of Europe Bio Base Europe in Ghent (Belgium) that offers the ability to use research, knowledge and infrastructure and equipment for the validation of processes and products; the National Research and Training Bioprocessing Institute (NIBRT) in Ireland, a center of excellence for training and research in biological processing generated with the purpose of replicating a modern bioprocessing plant; and the Process Innovation Center of the United Kingdom (CPI), a technological innovation center to allow the development, demonstration and scaling of products and processes, which have managed to position themselves as points of reference in the innovation map. These centers have arisen as a result of collaboration between universities, governments and private investment agencies.


In September of this year, the Ministries of Agriculture, Food and Environment and the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness presented the Spanish Circular Economy Strategy in which the different agents involved will commit to promote the transition to a circular economy, a pact that ASEBIO has just joined.

In addition, ASEBIO participates in the Spanish Observatory of Bioeconomy, which will develop the annual action plans that will create the Spanish Bioeconomy Strategy

For more information:
Lucía Cecilia
Communication Manager ASEBIO
Tfno. + 34 91 2109374/10
Fax. +34 91 2500063
Mobile: + 34 663 117 293
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