Scientists from institutes across Europe involved in the UpWaste project recently met in Riga.

The UpWaste project developed a flexible and modular system that converts agricultural residues into microalgae (Galdieria sulphuraria) and insect (Hermetia illucens) biomass. A major advantage: agricultural residues that are difficult to characterise, such as liquid manure, straw, food waste and rye bran, are put to sensible economic use in the production of algal and insect biomass. Microbiological safety is also guaranteed. In fact, the biomass produced does not show any contamination, especially with pathogens. This is crucial for the future implementation of the process. Similarly, continuous cultivation of the microalgae on a non-sterile food waste-based culture medium is successful.

Among others, the University of Latvia from Riga was involved in the project, so the capital of Latvia offered itself as a meeting place. Those responsible for the project exchanged their latest research results, discussed exploitation strategies for the results and – an important point – planned the first follow-up projects. For the current project has now come to an end, but further trials are needed before UpWaste becomes a ready-made system for practical use, for example on a farm.

So welcome tasks for the researchers most recently involved with UpWaste, who met in Riga: Dr Agris Pentjuss (University of Latvia), Dr. Sergiy Smetana (German Institute of Food Technologies), Laurens Broeckx (KU Leuven), Dr Sabine van Miert (Thomas More University of Applied Sciences), Prof. Dr Daniel Pleissner (ILU), Prof. Dr Janusz Gołaszewski and Remigiusz Gałęcki (both University of Warmia-Masuria). Noor Van Looveren and Dries Vandeweyer (both KU Leuven) joined online.