Winery wastes exploitation for production of high added value products by environmentally friendly technologies (WinWaPro) / NSRF 2007-2013, 11ΣΥΝ-2-1992
The project aims at the maximum possible utilization of solid winery wastes (pomace, lees, etc)for recovering marketable high added value compounds (mainly polyphenols, tartrates, anthocyanins), and the use of remaining polysaccharides for bioethanol production. Thus, currently unused wastes, burdening the environment, will be raw materials for obtaining products (of natural origin) of great commercial interest. For recovering these marketable compounds, novel methods will be used including membrane-based concentration and extraction, ion-exchange systems, etc. With such methods, the use of organic solvents will be minimized and efforts will be made to use ethanol as much as possible. The bioethanol production process will be also based on membranes (Membrane Bioreactor-MBR, membrane distillation-MD). These methods hold significant advantages compared to conventional ones, as (among other) they take place under mild temperature and pressure conditions (appropriate for separating sensitive organic compounds), they require modest capital investment and rather small energy expenditure, therefore considered environmentally friendly. In addition to the above products, on the basis of experimental project results, the integrated management of all wastes of a typical winery will be studied (considering also effluents of the new processes), with the additional objective to reclaim water of good quality for partial recycling in the plant and other uses such as irrigation. Finally, a techno-economic study will be performed to assess the new processes (using economic and marketing criteria) and make recommendations regarding the possible commercial exploitation of the new products. The consortium is comprised of three research laboratories and two companies, all with significant expertise in the field of study, complementarity of their scientific and technical activities as well as interest in innovation.