The project aims to the industrial manufacture and exploitation of sustainable raw materials from feather waste to develop innovative green products for high impact cross-sectorial markets. The KaRMA2020 project is entering its last year. The initial lab-scale experiments have been substituted by pilot demonstrations, end-products testing and feasibility studies to ensure the roll out of the innovative technologies. For the partners involved in the project, passionate for the R&D world, this is an exciting issue, as part of our jobs! But, for the general public, a question may arise: how will the project bring a positive impact to the European society?
The KaRMA2020 technologies valorise the waste feather streams in order to manufacture bio-based products, which substitute fossil-based materials. Considering the limited fossil sources in the world and the great environmental impacts brought by them, finding bio-based alternatives is a key innovative step to ensure the viability of the future European society.
After some sanitary crises in the past, such as the avian flu or the bovine spongiform encephalopathy, the waste from the poultry industry became classified as a hazardous waste of costly and difficult management. The current alternatives to incineration or safe disposal of the feathers in landfills, like rendering for animal food, are of very low profitability . The KaRMA2020 technologies will become the greatest uplift for the EU poultry industry in years! A cheap, concentrated source of biomass will be used to create bio-products of high added-value, instead of becoming an environmental concern. However, the environmental benefits don’t stop here! The new value chains are reinforcing the circular economy concept: feathers are treated to be either upcycled in new technical cycles (textiles, thermoset resins, etc.) or returned to the biogenic cycles as fertilisers. It is a win-win for the industry and the environment!
The EU bioeconomy is currently generating 4.1 % of the EU Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employing 8.2 % of the labour force. In the future, this sector is expected to create up to 1 million new jobs by 2030! The KaRMA2020 concept will allow new synergies to be built among the different sectors of the bioeconomy, such as agriculture, bio-based chemicals, bio-based textile or poultry farming. Thus, innovation will drive the creation of new cross-cutting value chains, which will bring new employments and economic revenues to Europe. We are demonstrating that creating jobs and wealth while tackling the societal challenges is possible!