A research challenge vision regarding management of agricultural waste in a circular bio-based economy

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article – Annual report year: 2018Researchpeer-review



  • Author: Gontard, Nathalie

    Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, France

  • Author: Sonesson, Ulf

    Research Institutes of Sweden, Sweden

  • Author: Birkved, Morten

    Quantitative Sustainability Assessment, Department of Management Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Bygningstorvet, 2800, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark

  • Author: Majone, Mauro

    University of Rome La Sapienza, Italy

  • Author: Bolzonella, David

    University of Verona, Italy

  • Author: Celli, Annamaria

    University of Bologna, Italy

  • Author: Angellier-Coussy, Hélène

    Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, France

  • Author: Jang, Guang-Way

    Industrial Technology Research Institute Hsinchu, Taiwan, Province of China

  • Author: Verniquet, Anne

    Solutions for Industrial Ecosystems S.A., Switzerland

  • Author: Broeze, Jan

    Wageningen Food & Biobased Research, Netherlands

  • Author: Schaer, Burkhard

    ECOZEPT, Germany

  • Author: Batista, Ana Paula

    Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, France

  • Author: Sebok, András

    Campden BRI, Hungary

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Agricultural waste is a huge pool of untapped biomass resources that may even represent economic and environmental burdens. They can be converted into bioenergy and bio-based products by cascading conversion processes, within circular economy, and should be considered residual resources. Major challenges are discussed from a transdisciplinary perspective, focused on Europe situation. Environmental and economic consequences of agricultural residue management chains are difficult to assess due to their complexity, seasonality and regionality. Designing multi-criteria decision support tools, applicable at an early-stage of research, is discussed. Improvement of Anaerobic Digestion (AD), one of the most mature conversion technologies, is discussed from a technological point of view and waste feedstock geographical and seasonal variations. Using agricultural residual resources for producing high-value chemicals is a considerable challenge analysed here, taking into account innovative eco-efficient and cost-effective cascading conversion processes (bio-refinery concept). Moreover, the promotion of agricultural residues-based business is discussed through industrial ecology, to promote synergy, on a local basis, between different agricultural and industrial value chains. Finally, to facilitate a holistic approach and optimise materials and knowledge flows management, the connection of stakeholders is discussed to promote cross-sectorial collaboration and resource exchange at appropriate geographic scales.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCritical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)614-654
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: No match on DOI

    Research areas

  • Agriculture, Waste, Eco-design, Biogas, Bio-based materials, Circular economy
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