CircBioCityWaste logo


The CircBioCityWaste project is based on the key principle of ‘circular bioeconomy’ focusing on the sustainable, resource-efficient valorisation of three urban waste streams (anaerobically digested (AD) sludge from municipal and dairy processing and organic portion from black wastebin). It aims to develop a first-of-a-kind integrated biorefinery concept in Ireland via ‘cascading’, using ‘end-of-waste’ approach, CircBioCityWaste demonstrates a novel concept of new value chains from urban waste biomass sourcing to biobased agrochemicals (biostimulants and biofertiliser) for sustainable agriculture focusing on plant growth and soil health, and bioenergy as a sustainable source of clean energy.

This biorefinery concept will start with the collection of ‘AD sludge’ from selected waste streams followed by developing pretreatment and extraction technologies/processes for recovering fine agrochemical (biostimulants). The residual waste will be combusted at low temperature using fluidised bed combustion to produce bioenergy. This process significantly reduces waste volume, destroys persistent organic pollutants and lead to mineralisation and concentration of phosphorus and other nutrients in the resultant ash, that will be explored as biofertilser. The impact of agrochemicals on growth of economically important crops will be assessed in pot trials.

CircBioCityWaste will evaluate the sustainability of multiproduct biorefinery and assesses the economic, social and environmental impacts of the developed products/materials or processes using life-cycle assessment methodologies. To effectively generate a comprehensive perspective on the opportunity of exploiting urban waste as a valuable resource, the CircBioCityWaste project has assembled a very strong interdisciplinary team from three Irish universities and expert/representatives/advisors from industry and local authorities, balanced across discipline, expertise and gender.

Leveraging partners’ knowledge, resources and relationships, CircBioCityWaste will build on prior state-of-the art research, and aims at delivering a number of outcomes including:

  1. Develop technologies to produce three agrochemicals from urban biowaste, opening up new possibilities for their production and marketing on large scale in Ireland.
  2. Generation of clean bioenergy replacing fossil fuels.
  3. The de-carbonisation of urban biowaste management with, amongst others, a strong component of long-term carbon sequestration.

Project Concept

The CircBioCityWaste project is based on ‘end-of-waste’ approach and will efficiently utilise urban waste as feedstock to produce a range of biobased products in variable amounts depending on waste quality, economic and environmental parameters, and market demand. It investigates the feasibility of recovery of value-added agrochemical from municipal sludge and dairy sludge AD digestate followed by thermal treatment which significantly reduces digestate volume, destroy persistent organic pollutants and lead to mineralisation and concentration of phosphorus and other plant nutrients in sterile ash.
Concept of cirbiocitywaste

Concept of CircBioCityWaste

Project’s Impact

The CircBioCityWaste project will advance the Irish waste management and recycling sector diversification which will deliver significant environmental, economic and societal benefits in high-quality jobs and economic growth in the region whilst in tandem supporting circular bioeconomy development. Within this scope, CircBioCityWaste aims at delivering a number of impacts that will contribute to the wider goals of the EPA research programme and other national challenges and priority areas, including:
  • Advancement of knowledge of biomass supply chain analysis.
  • Advancements in biomass pre-treatment processes.
  • Advancements in the valorisation of AD digestate into biostimulant.
  • Advancement in Bioenergy generation.
  • Advancements in the valorisation of ‘resultant ash’ from FBC into biofertliser.
  • Improvement of environmental footprint.
  • Creation of new value chains for new jobs and economic growth.

Project details

Duration: 4 Years (2022-2026)

Funding: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Co-funded by: Department of Food, Agriculture and the Marine (DAFM)

Host Institution

  • Munster Technological University (MTU)


  • University of Limerick (UL)
  • Technological University Dublin (TU DUBLIN),
  • BHSL

Project Coordination

Organisation name: QPLAN


Dr Gaurav Rajauria (Project Co-ordinator)