Published May 26, 2022 | Version v1
Journal article Open

Bioenergy production side-streams availability assessment as decision making driver for sustainable valorisation technologies development. Case study: Bioethanol and biodiesel industries

  • 1. Technological Corporation of Andalusia (CTA)
  • 2. Circular Bioeconomy Research Group (CircBio), Shannon Applied Biotechnology Centre, Munster Technological University
  • 3. ENVIRAL, a. s.
  • 4. Departamento de Ingeniería Química y Ambiental. Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingeniería. Universidad de Sevilla


Recently, biorefineries have emerged globally as an attractive alternative to conventional fuel production, but costs still need to be competitive. Latest policy actions such as the Green Deal or the Circular Economy Action Plan encourage maximising the biomass-to-products value chain through the use of all valuable compounds available in side-streams to the full extent. Side-streams from corn and rapeseed-based biofuels industries represent excellent sources of bioactive compounds and proteins, mainly under-utilised as animal feed without uncovering their full potential at industrial sectors such as food supplement, speciality chemicals, cosmetics, and household products. The main objective of the research conducted is to pave the way for side-streams valorisation technologies upgrading and market penetration by assessing current availability and future production rates of corn oil, thin stillage, rapeseed meal and other biodiesel and bioethanol production side-streams. Through a bibliographic analysis of peer-reviewed articles and grey literature, key information and valuable data are presented. It is possible to conclude that trends in biofuel markets (supported by regional regulations) lead to increased biofuel production, as well as increased availability of the specified side-streams. Corn oil is produced at a rate of 60 million L/year on average in Europe, a total of 1.6 billion L of thin stillage is produced each year, and rapeseed meal is generated at a global rate of 68 million tons per year. Future research to trigger further developments and investments could dive into the types and regional availability of relevant active compounds found in the selected side-streams.


Paper presenting main results from EXCornsEED project, WP1.



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EXCornsEED – Separation, fractionation and isolation of biologically active natural substances from corn oil and other side streams 792054
European Commission