To achieve the project’s aim and objectives, the BIOREFINE consortium has delineated 5 different work packages (WP), each covering its specific project actions:

Additionally, the BIOREFINE project serves as the secretariat of the strategic cluster ‘Biorefine Cluster Europe’. This cluster brings together industry, research institutes and policy makers for the development and market implementation of technologies in the field of biogas production, bio-refinery and nutrient recuperation.



WP1: Transnational collaborative and interactive platform

Objective: To facilitate cooperation between governments, industries and knowledge centers on sustainable nutrient management within a region as well as between regions in Europe.


  • Establishing Regional Nutrient Platforms
  • Establishing dialogue and cooperation between the different networks and Transnational Nutrient Platform
  • Establishing bilateral working groups


WP2: Classification matrix of nutrient sources and recovery and reuse processes

Objective: To gather detailed information on the nutrient sources available in specific regions in northwestern Europe and the potential technologies and pathways to recover and reuse nutrients from waste streams.


  • Identifying qualitative and quantitative nutrient requirements of the market as a basis for selecting appropriate techniques
  • Identifying nutrient recovery techniques from anaerobic digestion derivatives
  • Identifying nutrient recovery techniques from animal manure and agricultural wastes
  • Identifying nutrient recovery techniques from industrial and domestic wastes


WP3: Pilot scale explorations and demonstrations of good practice techniques

Objective:  To explore and optimize the best available techniques for nutrient recuperation at pilot scale, by (1) constructing pilot plants of theoretically good practice techniques from WP2; (2) physico-chemically characterizing the resulting end- and side-products; (3) optimizing the pilot plant to streamline the valorization potential of the products, for agricultural use (green fertilizer) or for as input for the chemical or agro-industry; (4) performing an economic and ecological evaluation of the different nutrient valorization techniques tested.               


  • Pilot scale installation for struvite production from digestate (sludge) from a Municipal Waste Water Treatment Plant
  • Pilot scale installation for the recuperation of nitrogen from digestate by stripping and subsequent air scrubbing
  • Pilot scale installation for the production of a nitrogen-potassium fertilizer from processed manure using reversed osmosis


WP4: New strategies and synergies in cross-sectoral resource recovery

Objective: To identify and evaluate new nutrient recovery methods based on market expertise from the perspective of various industrial sectors (chemistry, waste treatment, agro-/bio-industries).

Nutrient recovery techniques:

  • Nitrogen recovery from liquid fraction of animal manure
  • Phosphorus recovery from animal manure
  • Hydrothermal processing routes for recovery of nutrients
  • Use of algae for nutrient recovery
  • Use of ashes coming from heating plants


WP5: Road map to implementation of new strategies and policies

Objective: To optimize the pathways for nutrient recycling from an economic, social and environmental perspective. To provide policy makers with insights on the most appropriate policy instruments regarding sustainable nutrient and energy management.


  • Examine logistics – identify the spatial demand for nutrients relative to the source of recovered nutrients by testing and applying optimization models to determine optimal transport routes and locations for nutrient processing facilities
  • Identify life-cycle costs from a whole-of-society perspective, including economic, social, and environmental aspects
  • Identify any synergies and conflicts with other services, i.e. sanitation, energy and food services
  • Identify and address limitations and constraints in national, regional and EU legislative frameworks
  • Identify most appropriate policy instruments (e.g. regulatory, economic and communicative) to facilitate the chosen nutrient recovery and reuse options