Proper biorefinery processes are to be developed to accomplish the full potential of biomass as a net-zero source of commodity chemicals and fuels. Typical thermocatalytic procedures used to refine biomass-derivative products are energy-consuming and therefore not sustainable among other issues. Electrochemistry has surfaced as an alternative for the valorization of biomass. Electrochemical biorefineries are, nonetheless, at their early stage of development, which offers a grain opportunity to stablish a strong position in the field. We propose herein to develop electrochemical processes for the valorization of biomass residues of the wine industry. This choice is made based on (i) the prominence of this industry in Catalonia and of related industries worldwide, and (ii) the two representing biomass byproducts offered: the chemical residues from wine making (e.g. polysaccharides) as an example of 1st generation biomass, and the product from the vineyard pruning as a clear example of 2nd generation biomass. Overall, this area of opportunity represents an exciting field with many interesting possibilities for the wine industry and it could set a milestone for the valorization of products from other industries including agricultural, food and forestry.
Tecniospring is ACCIÓ’s international talent programme, which boosts technology transfer processes by offering R&D companies and TECNIO centres 2-year employment contracts to host a researcher. This programme is co-financed by the H2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions of the European Union.