The Biocircularcities and its three pilots continue to stir attention even after the official end of the project! Lately, two papers on Biocircularcities have been published in a scientific journal.
- Circular bioeconomy in the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona: Policy recommendations to optimize biowaste management
The first one, entitled “Circular bioeconomy in the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona: Policy recommendations to optimize biowaste management”, has been published in the journal “Sustainability”. It is part of the Special Issue Sustainability in Bioeconomy and Bioenergy.
Abstract: Municipal biowaste management is at the core of the transition towards a circular bioeconomy in the EU. However, most urban systems are still far from being aligned with these principles. This paper addresses the case of the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona. The current system of biowaste management is compared with a more sustainable alternative scenario. Regulatory and non-regulatory drivers and barriers for the transition from the current state to the alternative scenario are identified and later transformed into policy recommendations using a multi-stakeholder approach. This paper focuses on the separate collection of biowaste and the production of biomethane. Increasing the quantity and quality of separate biowaste collection is a prerequisite for the market-relevant production of biogas from anaerobic digestion that can be converted into biomethane. The results show that more efficient collection systems such as door-to-door or smart bins together with tax incentives such as the pay-as-you-throw principle are key to increasing the amount of collected biowaste, while targeted communication combined with controls and penalties are key to minimizing impurities. In addition to financial incentives for the construction of new anaerobic digestion plants, financial incentive systems are also required for the biomethane sector to ensure competitiveness with fossil fuels.
- Sustainability Assessment of Coffee Silverskin Waste Management in the Metropolitan City of Naples (Italy): A Life Cycle Perspective
The second article “Sustainability Assessment of Coffee Silverskin Waste Management in the Metropolitan City of Naples (Italy): A Life Cycle Perspective” has also been published in the journal “Sustainability”, this time in the Special Issue Circular Economy, Environmental Monitoring, and Sustainable Development.
Abstract: The use of renewable biological resources, including biowaste, within a circular framework, is crucial for the transition to more sustainable production and consumption patterns. By means of life cycle assessment and life cycle costing methodologies, this study compares the environmental and economic performances of two disposal scenarios for coffee silverskin, the major waste from coffee roasting. The business-as-usual (BaU) scenario, currently applied in the Metropolitan City of Naples (Italy), involves silverskin composting, while the proposed alternative scenario explores the valorization of silverskin as a functional ingredient in bakery products. The alternative scenario results are more advantageous since replacing flour with silverskin in bakery products reduces environmental impact by 96% more than replacing synthetic fertilizers with compost in the BaU scenario. Furthermore, in the alternative scenario, coffee roasters halve their silverskin disposal costs, compared to the BaU scenario (447.55 € versus 190.09 €, for 1 ton). Finally, the major environmental burdens are resource use for equipment construction (37% for BaU, 62% for alternative, on average) and electricity consumption (30% for BaU, 67% for alternative, on average), while the highest economic cost is due to personnel (58% for BaU, 88% for alternative, on average).