Published December 23, 2022 | Version v1
Journal article Open

Valorizing Biodiesel and Bioethanol Side-Streams: Sustainability Potential Assessment through a Multicriteria Decision Analysis Framework and Appraisal of Valuable Compound Recovery Prospects

  • 1. Fundación Corporación Tecnológica de Andalucía, C Albert Einstein S/N, 41092 Seville, Spain
  • 2. ENVIRAL, a.s., Trnavská cesta, 920 41 Leopoldov, Slovakia
  • 3. TECNALIA, Basque Research and Technology Alliance (BRTA), Astondo Bidea, Edificio 700, 48160 Derio, Spain
  • 4. Departamento de Ingeniería Química y Ambiental, Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingeniería, Universidad de Sevilla, Camino de los Descubrimientos s/n, 41092 Seville, Spain


A framework for assessing, from a sustainability and circular bioeconomy point of view, the best valorization approach for biorefineries side-streams has been developed and validated. Two biorefinery side streams are considered as case-studies for validation: rapeseed meal from biodiesel and corn oil from bioethanol production. Firstly, a methodology to evaluate different valorization scenarios has been developed following a holistic approach that addresses technical aspects, environmental impact, and economic analysis. This way, a framework (inspired by the Battelle Method and using insights from Multicriteria Decision Analysis) has been produced where the sustainability potential of each scenario can be assessed. Such framework has been validated for five valorization scenarios for rapeseed meal and seven scenarios for corn oil. It can be concluded that protein extraction through alkaline (NaOH) hydrolysis is the best approach for rapeseed meal valorization while carotenoids recovery through ion exchange extraction is the most suitable strategy for corn oil. Secondly, for the selected scenarios, an estimation of the maximum recoverable amount of valuable compounds is conducted at the European and country-level. The use of this framework substantially aids in the best choice of the cutting-edge conversion technologies, supporting industry practitioners in the selection of processes to be further scaled-up.



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