The BioResourceLab: SUEZ’s new research centre dedicated to the recovery of organic waste
On 30 January 2019, in Narbonne, France, SUEZ laid the first stone of the BioResourceLab, its new research centre dedicated to the transformation of organic waste into bioresources.
This new worldwide research centre aims to support SUEZ and its customers in the development of innovative solutions for the recovery of organic waste, in other words waste made of matter from plants or animals1.
This research centre addresses the worldwide issue of finding new ways of recovering organic waste that achieve higher levels of quality and can handle larger quantities. The World Bank estimates that the planet will produce 70% more waste in 2050 than in 2016. Regulatory policies and actors from civil society are pushing for changes in waste management in favour of the reduction and recovery of waste. For example, the separate collection of food waste will become compulsory in the European Union by 2023.
Turning organic waste into bioresources
In partnership with educational and research institutes or start-ups, the BioResourceLab will work on the development of innovative solutions to transform organic waste into bioresources.
These new resources will produce energy, in the form of heat, electricity or biofuels, building materials, soil fertilisers and molecules of interest to the chemicals industry.
These bioresources can replace fossil raw materials, thereby limiting ecological impacts, and in particular by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Also, by reintroducing the waste into production and consumption cycles, the use of the biosphere, which supplies raw materials, is reduced and arable land is freed up to produce food. This concept is known as the development of “Environmental Biorefineries”.
A research centre integrated in the Group’s innovation ecosystem
Ultimately, the BioResourceLab will welcome 15 scientists, including researchers, engineers, PhD students and specialists in microbiology, biotechnology, agronomics and chemistry. They will conduct experimental tests on varying scales, from the 250 m² dedicated laboratory, to larger-scale pilot tests in the 350 m² experimental hall.
The new research centre will complete and be totally integrated in the Group’s existing network of 17 research centres all over the world, from the USA and Spain, to Hungary, China and Singapore. It will also benefit from the Group’s innovative forces and its 650 international experts and researchers.
1Green waste from parks and gardens, food waste from households, caterers and retailers, sub-products from the food industry and agriculture, paper, cardboard, wood, sludge from the treatment of wastewater, etc.