In a biobased economy, multiple uses of biomass, such as byproducts is aimed. This can be achieved by linking different parts in the chain in a cost-effective manner. At this moment, it is difficult to collect and process plant residues coming from high-wire cultivation in the greenhouse horticulture (tomato, paprika, cucumber). One major challenge is the contamination of the foliage. Due to the use of conventional binding materials, such as polypropylene or nylon, the foliage is mixed with the ropes and clips on collection. As such, some sales opportunities are no longer possible, and processing of the byproducts results in an increased share of the operational costs. Therefore the aim of the project is to valorise the byproducts, which are currently regarded as waste as high as possible. The following objectives are foreseen :
- Selection of alternative ropes and clips that can ensure a more sustainable cultivation of tomatoes, paprika and/or cucumbers.
- Developing new separation techniques to separate plant residues from ropes and clips, so that further processing is facilitated.
- Ensuring proper storage and stabilization techniques of the byproducts so that they can be gradually processed.
- Realizing higher added value of the byproducts as a biostimulant or biopesticide.
- Closing cycles by fully reusing the byproducts (zero waste approach).
- Investigate the profitability of new valorisation chains by performing a cost/benefit analysis