When there are not enough resources for the rapidly growing population, reusing them is a must. From valorization of forest industry’s side streams to recycling nutrients of food production, Luke promotes circular economy in all its research programmes.
Valorisation of biomass from various side-streams including wood and food processing for high value products is at the core of Luke’s circular solutions. Based on our core competences in extraction and fractionation, microbiological processing; anaerobic digestion and biogas processes; enzymatic bioprocessing; slow pyrolysis; and, we offer a wide range of services. These include, for example, environmentally sound refining; fractionation; extraction and processing technologies to multiply the value of the raw material. Such technologies help use the raw material in a resource efficient and feasible way. We aim to combine biomass from various sources into new products to replace those depending on fossil raw materials.
For food industries in particular, optimisation of nutrient cycles and recovery as part of the entire valorisation chain plays an essential role as well. Furthermore, farm-scale nutrient balance is essential for sustainable food production. However, it requires precise data on manure quantity and characteristics. Together with leading European research institutes and universities, Luke works to enhance European manure management.
Besides agriculture, recycling nutrients is important in a bigger picture, too. Luke explores innovative ways to reuse nutrients in, for example, ash from the side streams of energy production. Another circular solution with a nutrient cycle could be a concept of “blue pulp mill” – a combination of a pulp mill and an aquaculture facility. Or we could even produce suitable biomaterials to be used in bioplastic production, based on utilization of anaerobic digestion process to produce volatile fatty acids.