BioWILL – An Integrated Zero Waste Biorefinery

BioWILL is an Interreg NWE funded project focusing on Integrated "Zero Waste" Biorefinery utilising all fractions of Willow feedstock for the production of high to medium based Bio-Chemicals/Materials, Renewable Energy in the form of Bio Methane production and Natural Fertilisers. BioWILL consists of 10 project partners in four countries across Northwest Europe (Belgium, France, Ireland and United Kingdom).

The recovery of relatively small quantities of high value extractives from biomass has the potential to transform the economic viability of biorefineries promoting transition to a zero waste circular bioeconomy. Through transnational collaboration BIOWill addresses the problem of poor vertical integration of value for biomass by developing a zero waste willow biorefinery ultilising all fractions of the feedstock for the production of biopharmaceutical chemicals, energy and materials ensuring sustainable economic development. This project will demonstrate the commerciality of scalable rural biorefineries for the NWE providing alternative income for farmers and employment across a wide skill base. The project will deliver a Biorefinery model for North west Europe using Willow, by producing high value salicylates from willow bark for medical applications. The bark residue and bark-free willow pulp will converted into safe food quality packaging material to replace fossil derived plastics. The end of life packaging will be hydrolysed and used as a feedstock in an innovative bio-energy anaerobic digestion system producing biogas suitable for grid injection. Technology demonstrations will validate how technology integration can increase efficiency, qualifying as “best available practice”. Intensive market, regulatory, financial, technical & environmental analysis will produce a “toolkit” (LCAs, business models, etc) for dissemination to all market actors via an extensive communications programme. The project objective is to enable a zero waste biorefinery and provide a detailed plan for a sustainable circular low carbon economy. The approach would support the emergence of a competitive bioeconomy in the region, benefiting SMEs in NEW by bringing together all stakeholders in the value chain to systematically address the lack of reference plants and perceived risks and promote market replication in NWE area.

Check the project website 


Project Coordinator 

  • University of Limerick, Ireland

Project Partners

  • Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, United Kingdom

  • Cellulac PLC, United Kingdom

  • Munster Technical University, Ireland

  • Gas Networks Ireland, Ireland

  • Bangor University, United Kingdom

  • Materia Nova, Belgium

  • European Landowners' Organization, Belgium

  • University College Cork, Ireland

  • Agriland, France