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News items
06.05.2024

NORSUS is part of the groundbreaking PROTEUS project, an initiative set to revolutionize sustainable bio-based ingredient production, advancing both environmental goals and European climate objectives. PROTEUS aims to redefine the standards for harvesting, biorefining, and utilizing brown seaweeds across diverse markets, including food, feed, personal care, and bio-based industrial sectors.

Backed by a €9.6 million grant from the Circular Bio-Based Europe Joint Undertaking* (CBE JU), and with a €14.4 million budget over four years (2024-2028), the PROTEUS consortium is on a mission to establish the very first industrial-scale biorefinery dedicated to brown seaweeds. This cutting-edge facility will boost the sustainable production of bio-based ingredients from Laminaria hyperborea, a largely untapped European renewable resource, catering to the increasing global demand.

Coordinated by Alginor ASA, the PROTEUS consortium has an impressive lineup of 11 international partners: NORSUS; Alginor Biorefinery, Hypomar, Borregaard, Vaess, Olmix, Essity, Institute of Marine Research, Steinbeis, and CLIC Innovation, covering 6 European countries.

NORSUS, researchers will be working on the task of conducting comprehensive sustainability assessments to ensure that every value chain and newly developed product meets the highest sustainability standards. Environmental LCA, Life Cycle Costing and Social LCA will be performed by NORSUS researchers in collaboration with the other project partners. "Assessing all three dimensions of sustainability is incredibly exciting," says senior researcher Anna Woodhouse, WP leader of the sustainability assessments in the project.

Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA) will be conducted to assess sustainability of the newly developed products and their value chains in the PROEUS project.

Moreover, NORSUS will implement the EU's groundbreaking Sustainable By Design directive for the products in development. "This new framework, not yet widely applied to these types of materials, presents an exciting challenge," notes senior researcher Andreas Brekke. "It’s a great opportunity to integrate health and safety, product function, and sustainability into a cohesive evaluation."

NORSUS team for the PROTEUS project

Together, the PROTEUS consortium is set to harnessing the power of brown seaweeds to transform industries and steer in a new era of sustainable innovation.

We acknowledge that the project is supported by the CBE-JU and its members under Grant Agreement No. 101156960




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News items
05.04.2024

Last year, EPD Norway signed an agreement with the North American organisation Labeling Sustainability about the possibility to develop EPDs (Environmental Footprint Declarations) that satisfy both European and American requirements. The EPD for Carbon Crusher is the first to be developed through this agreement. The challenge was mainly related to the use of the TraCi method, which is required in the US, but which does not consider biogenic carbon. NORSUS researchers Mafalda Silva and Mehrdad Ghorbani Mooselu developed the EPD to EPD-Norway and contributed to the conversion of the results to the North American EPD framework.

Carbon Crusher is an innovative company who provides a greener method for road rehabilitation projects by using a bio-binder.

The published EPD may be found here

Read more about our research within the construction sector here

Report
28.02.2024

The goal of this project is twofold: a) to gain knowledge on the potential environmental impact of competing products to biovanillin from Borregaard, based on publicly available and documented data for the competing products, and b) to educate Borregaard’s partners and customers on the sustainability of Borregaard’s biovanillin. Hence, the study shall support comparative assertions intended to be disclosed to the public. The following competing products have been considered:

– Guaiacol vanillin manufactured from fossil raw materials in USA;

– Guaiacol vanillin manufactured from fossil raw materials in France;

– Guaiacol vanillin manufactured from fossil raw materials in China;

– Eugenol vanillin manufactured from clove/eugenol in Indonesia;

– Eugenol vanillin manufactured from clove/eugenol in China.

The comparison to the considered competing products has been performed on a kg-to-kg basis and the following have been found: 

  • The total climate change burden (GWP-total) for Borregaard’s biovanillin is, per kilogram, much lower than for the considered competing products.
  • The considered competing eugenol-vanillin products present a higher contribution to GWP-total than guaiacol-vanillin products. 
  • The contribution to GWP-total for eugenol and guaiacol is mostly linked to the energy requirements associated with the synthesis to vanillin and therefore, the choice of electricity mix plays an important role for the climate change results.
  • For the other indicators, the competing product eugenol-vanillin produced in Indonesia with eugenol extracted via hydrodistillation technique is the one that presents the worst environmental performance. Borregaard’s biovanillin presents a much lower contribution to the considered environmental indicators than the assessed competing products.
  • The energy and chemical requirements considered in this study for both eugenol and guaiacol-vanillin production pathways are based on laboratory and pilot-scale studies and therefore, have associated a significant level of uncertainty. This may affect results and the ranking between products.

The study is carried out using life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology according to the ISO-standards 14040/44 (ISO 2006, ISO 2006). The study has been reviewed by PhD Fredrik Johnsen through an external critical review.

Any interpretation of the study that makes a comparison of the environmental profile against specific products is not compatible with the critical review process of the study.

Prosjekt
04.10.2023

The project SynoProtein (Carbon capture from syngas to Single Cell Protein (SCP) and use as fish feed Ingredient) started on September1st and it will end by March 2028.

Synoprotein is funded by the Horizon Europe programme under the call-JU-CBE-2022 (Circular Bio-based Europe Joint Undertaking).

The project’s coordinator is WAI ENVIRONMENTAL SOLUTIONS. WAI is a Norwegian technology company developing and implementing environmental technologies within wastewater treatment, bio-sludge treatment, nutrients and resources recovery, hazardous waste and soil remediation and aquaculture.

The main objective of SynoProtein is to develop and demonstrate a novel carbon-negative process that enables high value creation from sawmill by-products through carbon capture and use (CCU). The aim is to establish a sawmill by-products valorisation process in a continuous flow system at a pilot scale with a production capacity of 5 kg/day for Single Cell Protein (SCP) and biochar each (dry weight). Innovative processes are developed using forest residues to be converted to single cell protein for fish feed ingredients as alternative to the traditional climate and energy intensive soybean and resource-limited wild fish protein production and to biochar production for animal feed.  11 partners from four different European countries (Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Germany) are part of the consortium representing industry, academia, and research institutes. For more information about the project see: https://www.cbe.europa.eu/projects/synoprotein

NORSUS is responsible for assessesing the potential environmental and social impacts of the novel SynoProtein solution by using environmental and social Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodologies. Data will be collected in the consortium from lab scale to pilot plant and published by the end of the project in European platforms. Comparison with the state-of-the-art of the technologies will also be established. Several environmental impact categories such as climate change, water scarcity, resource scarcity and biodiversity will be investigated. In addition, NORSUS will use the Responsible Research & Innovation (RRI) framework and will employ methods for involving the public in the development of the Synoprotein biobased value chains.

We acknowledge that the project is supported by the Circular Bio-based Europe Joint Undertaking (CBE-JU) and its members under Grant Agreement No. 101112345.

News items
01.10.2023

The project SynoProtein (Carbon capture from syngas to Single Cell Protein (SCP) and use as fish feed Ingredient) started on September1st and it will end by March 2028.

Synoprotein is funded by the Horizon Europe programme under the call-JU-CBE-2022 (Circular Bio-based Europe Joint Undertaking).

The project’s coordinator is WAI ENVIRONMENTAL SOLUTIONS. WAI is a Norwegian technology company developing and implementing environmental technologies within wastewater treatment, bio-sludge treatment, nutrients and resources recovery, hazardous waste and soil remediation and aquaculture.

The main objective of SynoProtein is to develop and demonstrate a novel carbon-negative process that enables high value creation from sawmill by-products through carbon capture and use (CCU). The aim is to establish a sawmill by-products valorisation process in a continuous flow system at a pilot scale with a production capacity of 5 kg/day for Single Cell Protein (SCP) and biochar each (dry weight). Innovative processes are developed using forest residues to be converted to single cell protein for fish feed ingredients as alternative to the traditional climate and energy intensive soybean and resource-limited wild fish protein production and to biochar production for animal feed.  11 partners from four different European countries (Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Germany) are part of the consortium representing industry, academia, and research institutes. For more information about the project see: https://www.cbe.europa.eu/projects/synoprotein

NORSUS is responsible for assessesing the potential environmental and social impacts of the novel SynoProtein solution by using environmental and social Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodologies. Data will be collected in the consortium from lab scale to pilot plant and published by the end of the project in European platforms. Comparison with the state-of-the-art of the technologies will also be established. Several environmental impact categories such as climate change, water scarcity, resource scarcity and biodiversity will be investigated. In addition, NORSUS will use the Responsible Research & Innovation (RRI) framework and will employ methods for involving the public in the development of the Synoprotein biobased value chains.

We acknowledge that the project is supported by the Circular Bio-based Europe Joint Undertaking (CBE-JU) and its members under Grant Agreement No. 101112345.


Project teams at NORSUS:

News items
27.02.2023

Plastic releases to nature have a high risk of causing impacts on ecosystems and humans. The potential replacement of traditional fossil-based plastics with PHA is 100 % for mulch film, 100% for control-release fertilizer, approximately 50% for geotextiles and 100% for dolly ropes. Microplastics from PHA are degraded by bacteria, fungi and other biological processes and thus the risk of damage to organisms over time is much lower than for traditional plastics.

Download the report

Report
31.01.2023

NORSUS has examined the literature about PHA and considered the microplastics issues related to its use as a replacement for conventional plastics for mulch film, geotextiles, control-release fertilizer and dolly ropes. This report summarizes the findings based on the literature and a rough MFA performed for these products.

News items
03.06.2022

As a part of the SYLFEED project, Ingunn Saur Modahl og Andreas Brekke at NORSUS have published a study on insect proteins. In this article, life cycle assessments for six insect protein cases are examined. The studies are on mealworms and black soldier fly larvae used for fish feed, farmed and fed in different countries and with different diets. As this study combines inventories found in literature, special attention is paid to obtain consistent system boundaries, method choices, background data, and indicators. The results show that the insect diet is heavily affecting the environmental results if the insects are fed a diet of high economic value vegetables. Protein from insects fed on ‘waste’ (as is most often the case), has a climate change burden which is equal to or much lower than the most common crop-based fish feed protein ingredients. This difference in environmental burdens for the insects’ diet is caused by the economic allocation of burdens in LCAs of farmed crops. Insect proteins can cover 10 to 15% of the volumes of feed crude protein currently imported to the EU. The study also shows that transport of insect protein from countries such as The Netherlands, France and Germany to the west coast of Norway makes only a marginal contribution to the environmental burdens of the proteins. Read the full paper here. here.

News items
29.04.2022

As part of the work in the LIVESTOCK project a new paper has now been published. It is a life cycle study of the environmental impacts of pig production when the soybean meal in the feed is replaced by yeast protein produced from wood sugar. 

The raw material for the yeast protein is hydrolysed wood sugar that can be produced from wood through a biorefining process. In this study, two processes were analysed: wood sugar (Excello) from Borregaard and wood molasses that can be hydrolysed to wood sugar from Glommen Technology. These processes are not yet in commercial operation in Norway, so the data in the study is based on test production and technical calculations.

The wood sugar is further used as the main component for fermentation of yeast, which in turn can be used as a protein source in feed for pigs. The results show that when this is compared with standard feed that contain soybean meal, the feed with yeast from wood sugar will have lower environmental impacts, especially reduced loss of biodiversity. It will also reduce the feed-food competition for arable land. Although the area requirement per kg of carcass weight is greater if wood sugar is used in the feed compared to soybean meal, the forest area cannot be used for food production. The use of wood sugar can also increase resource utilization because the refinery processes can use residual wood that does not meet the fibre length requirements for the cellulose and paper industry, e.g. sawdust.

Read the article here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1871141322001056?via%3Dihub

Photo: Håkon Sperre, NMBU

News items
02.09.2021

On the final day of the SYLFEED project, one of our research managers, Andreas Brekke, presented the environmental performance of a protein fish feed ingredient made from beech. The project is managed and owned by the French technology company Arbiom and has included partners from Iceland, Sweden, Belgium, and the Netherlands, in addition to France and Norway. NORSUS has scrutinised the environmental performance of the life cycle of the protein, SylPro®, from the harvesting of wood in the forest to the feeding of the fish in the water. Results from this life cycle has been compared to other protein sources, like soy protein concentrate, fish meal, rape seed meal, and more novel sources like insect meal and bacterial protein meal. The compilation and analyses of data and models for the other protein sources have been an important part of the project. The LCA work in the project has used the newest methods for characterising impacts connected to land and water use and NORSUS has contributed to increased knowledge on how they can be used and results interpreted. The final webinar will soon be published on the project website www.sylfeed.eu