Genia Bioenergy participates in the European project called CHEERS, financed by Horizon Europe and supported by the European Union. This project represents a new biorefinery concept, inspired by natural biodiversity and based on microbial platforms. The main objective is to revalue underused or residual secondary flows of the brewing industry, such as bagasse, biogas (CO2+ CH4) or wastewater, and transform them into innovative and competitive bioproducts in the market.


Inspiration from Nature: Microbial Platforms

Instead of following conventional methods, CHEERS is based on a new biorefinery concept, inspired by natural biodiversity. Taking microbial platforms as an example, the project seeks to revalue underused or residual secondary flows, with the aim of converting them into innovative and competitive bioproducts in the market: disinfectant, microbial protein, ectoine and caproic acid.

Key Achievements of Genia Bioenergy at CHEERS

Genia Bioenergy will lead the construction and design of key areas:

  • Processing Upstream of Caproic Acid: This involves the creation of a demo plant for the processing of caproic acid. This bioproduct has promising applications in various industries as in animal feed.
  • Processing Upstream of Ectoine: Similarly, a demo plant for the processing of ectoine will be designed and built. This compound has interesting properties and is used in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products.
  • Integration and Cascade Processing (WP4): To achieve this, work will be done on the design and construction of the demo plant for the downstream processing of caproic acid and ectoine. This ensures that processes are efficient and well integrated.

Genia Bioenergy has provided the complete detailed engineering document for this last process, including its plant design and construction. In fact, some of the activities that Genia Bioenergy is carrying out, consist on the development of the preindustrial processing for the elongation of short chain fatty acids. The mixture resulting from the acidogenic digestion of brewing waste (bagasse, wastewater) will be filtered and transferred to a second reactor, in which, through mixed bacterial cultures, the short chain Volatile Fatty Acids (VFA) will be processed using Carbon Dioxide (C02) as a carbon source.


The impact of CHEERS project

  • Carbon Footprint Reduction: A substantial reduction in Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions is expected compared to conventional alternatives.
  • Greater Land Use for Biodiversity/Food Production: CHEERS’s circular approach will allow for more efficient use of land, benefiting both biodiversity and food production.
  • Positive Socioeconomic Impact: The project will contribute to socioeconomic performance and sustainable development
  • Implementation in Other Biological Industries: CHEERS will lay the foundation for applying similar solutions in other biology-based industries.