A Biocascade Approach Towards the Recovery of High-Value Natural Products from Biowaste: State-of-Art and Future Trends


In a circular economy, products are made from renewable resources and the waste streams generated during production are either reused, recycled or recovered. The Biocascade methodology considers bio-waste as a resource that can be exploited to produce high-value products such as pharmaceuticals, food ingredients and nutrients; and low-value products such as feed, energy or soil conditioners. The Biocascade principle ensures optimal biomass exploitation by following a hierarchy from high-to-low value, where the waste from one process is the starting material for the next. Biowaste from plant origin is a very suitable resource for applying the Biocascade methodology, both in terms of worldwide production and of variety of components. In this review, the biowaste from sour cherry wine, ornamental kalanchoe plants and red clover feed production, have been examined for processing using a Biocascade approach. Starting from the biowaste characterization, the most relevant components have been identified highlighting their potential uses. The extraction methodology is then discussed in terms of solvent used, operating conditions and yield. Based on the information retrieved from literature, different process flowsheets have been proposed to maximize the use of the biowaste following the Biocascade perspective and targeting zero-waste generation.

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This research work was funded by the European Regional Development Fund as part of the Interreg North Sea Region project 38–2-4–17 BIOCAS, circular BIOmass CAScade to 100%, to whom the authors would like to express their gratitude. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 778168.

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Madeddu, C., Roda-Serrat, M.C., Christensen, K.V. et al. A Biocascade Approach Towards the Recovery of High-Value Natural Products from Biowaste: State-of-Art and Future Trends. Waste Biomass Valor 12, 1143–1166 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12649-020-01082-6

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  • Biocascade
  • Sour cherry pomace
  • Kalanchoe leaves
  • Red clover
  • Biowaste