Value added materials from organic waste sugars

Sugar is one of the most essential raw materials for industrial bioprocessing supply chains. Bringing together experts from six countries, the three-year project VAMOS (Value Added Materials from Organic Waste Sugars) produces second-generation sugars from paper and card-based materials from municipal solid waste or waste rejected from sorting and recycling processes. The project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

In the VAMOS project, ifeu is part of an 11-strong European consortium, that demonstrates the commercial feasibility of generating sugars derived from household waste and produces a range of high-performance bio-based materials and products. Addressing the challenges associated with second-generation sugars, such as higher dilution and lower purity rates, would establish a fresh, sustainable and renewable resource for the industrial bioprocessing sector.

The waste-derived sugar is used to produce a range of bio-based products for non-food applications in the construction, textile, furnishings and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sectors; reducing reliance on first-generation agricultural sources such as sugar cane or sugar beet. In detail, the sugar is utilised in the production of three bio-based products; 1) a thermoset bioresin used in the binding of mineral-wool insulation; 2) purified lactic acid (LA) for the commodities market; and 3) poly-lactic acid (PLA) and PLA/Fibre composite materials to be used in non-food contact applications within the fast-moving consumer goods, packaging, furnishings and construction sectors.

Central to the VAMOS project is the use of technology to recover a variety of recyclable materials and resources from residual wastes. This new technology aims to deliver competitive, sustainable, affordable and high-performance bio-based materials from these low-value residual waste sugars. The vision is to create a paradigm shift in industrial biotechnology products by establishing a novel approach based on the efficient use of low value mixed waste and the conversion of this material into value-added products.

ifeu’s role in this project is to lead the comprehensive sustainability assessment of the entire value chain including environmental, economic as well as social aspects. These assessments ensure that all measures are taken to maximise the project’s impact towards a more sustainable society.


Project start September 2019


This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking (JU) under grant agreement No 837771. The JU receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the Bio Based Industries Consorti-


Oakdene Hollins Limited (GB), coordinator

Fiberight Limited (GB)

Aberystwyth University Royal Charter (GB)

Imperial College of Science (GB)

Technology and Medicine und Knauf Insulation Limited (GB)

EW Biotech GmbH (DE)

Celignis Ltd (IE)

AEP Polymers SRL (IT)

Transfercenter für Kunststofftechnik GmbH (AT)

Novozymes A/S (DK)