Life Steam

About the project

Green waste is composed of a mixture of pruning, branches and leaves coming from municipal and private parks maintenance. It has high potentials to be exploited for biofuel production through anaerobic digestion, but less than 9% of it is used today to produce biofuel. The limiting factor is represented by the predominance of lignocellulosic fibers that do not allow an efficient microbial biodegradation, making the biofuel production not competitive on the market.


LIFE STEAM project will develop an innovative prototype based on steam explosion technology to effectively pretreat green waste before sending it to anaerobic digestion. Low value green waste will be converted into advanced biofuels for the transport sector and fertilizer for agricultural use, contributing to:


  • decrease the landfill waste and compostable fraction by using biomass for the bioconversion process reducing emissions and transforming a low-value waste into high-value biofuels addressing the EU waste management policies;
  • reduce the dependence on fossil fuels, by producing biofuel from green waste, in agreement with the EU vision about renewable resources and sustainable mobility;
  • support the decoupling of biofuel production from food and energy crops, by substituting currently used food feedstocks (e.g. maize silage) with green waste within the bioconversion process, thus tackling the indirect land-use changes (ILUC).


The LIFE STEAM project has received funding from the LIFE Programme of the European Union.


Project Title: Green waste valorisation through innovative low temperature STEAM explosion into advanced biofuel and agri-products
Project Code: LIFE18 ENV/IT/000092
Duration: 01/09/2019 – 31/08/2023
Total budget: € 2,499,827
EU contribution: € 1,350,154
Project location: Italy


About the LIFE programme
The LIFE programme is the EU's funding instrument for the environment and climate action. It began in 1992 and has to date co-financed more than 4,600 projects. Until 2013, LIFE had contributed approximately €3.1 billion to the protection of the environment. During the current 2014-2020 funding period the programme will contribute approximately €3.4 billion.