WP3: Indirect biorefinery of side-streams via insects














In WP3 the value-add of insects in the recycling chain of underspent side-streams is evaluated. Additionally, the impact of the side-streams on the insect growth as well on the composition of the insect biomass will be evaluated.








After growth of the inscect biomass, sustainable biorefinery processes will be elaborated and evaluated by further processing of the insects into at least 2 different components for use in feed (proteins, fats) and chemicals (chitin, fats, proteins) applications. The isolated bulk and minor compounds will be quantified, characterised and processed (depolymerisation, …) in function of the applications envisioned in WP5.  Data will be collected to contribute to overcome currently existing legal hurdles identified in WP1.


WP-leader:  VITO (B),

Involved partners: Millibeter (B), University of Parma (I), Proti-farm R&D (NL), Nutrition Sciences (B), Innovatiesteunpunt (B) 

Indirect biorefineries convert side-streams into crude extracts via a two-step process consisting of

  1. conversion of biomass by insects

  2. and subsequent biorefinery of the insect biomass

The aim of the first step is to convert heterogenic feedstock into a homogenous biomass via insects.  Insects are able to convert a variety of feedstock into a more homogenous biomass, being their own biomass.  Even manure can be used as substrate.  The indirect approach is expected to have potential for a year-round relatively stable production of mainly chitin, proteins, lipids and N-light compost. 

Lesser mealworm

Black Soldier Fly

House cricket

Plant side-streams





x (for technical applications)