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Production of advanced biodiesel from animal wastes using supercritical technologies (LIFE19 CCM/ES/001189)



The LIFE Superbiodiesel project is working on a pilot plant that applies an improved, sustainable and environmentally friendly process that contributes to circular economy

In Europe, 17 million tonnes of animal by-products (ABPs) not intended for human consumption are managed annually. This is a problem for both the climate and the environment, as they may contain harmful substances. Currently, ABP plants require alternatives to minimise, recover and/or reduce the current impact of ABPs that are disposed of by incineration or landfilling. A viable and promising alternative is the transformation of animal fat into biodiesel, as well as the protein fraction of the by-product into biostimulants, which would contribute both to the fight against climate change and to the achievement of the European goals for 2030.

The Life Superbiodiesel project will demonstrate at pilot plant scale the production of biofuels from animal by-products using methanol in supercritical conditions with a heterogeneous catalytic technology that brings about technical, environmental and economic advantages over the traditional transesterification process, as well as the production of biostimulants based on free amino acids by means of an enzymatic process contributing to improve the efficiency of the by-products generated in tanneries.

Superbiodiesel lab


  • To develop, validate and demonstrate a novel biodiesel production from waste animal fats based on supercritical technology and heterogeneous catalysts.
  • To develop and optimise the enzymatic hydrolysis process for the recovery of free amino acids from the discarded animal waste fraction and validate their use as biostimulants.
  • To design, build and optimise a pilot plant to annually produce 5 t of biofuel in supercritical conditions that contributes to the mitigation of the climate change, and to recover 4 t/year of free amino acids to be used as biostimulants.
  • To recover category 3 ABPs generated in the tanning industry. The capacity of the pilot plant will allow 70 t/year of waste to be treated.


  • Production of high added value biodiesel from animal fat obtained from tanneries.
  • Improvement of the properties of the biofuel produced and increase of their performance.
  • Production of biostimulants based on free amino acids from animal by-products by means of an enzymatic process that reduces water consumption by at least 96% compared to the conventional process.
  • Validation of the newly developed biofuel and biostimulants meeting current European regulations.
  • Potential reduction by 80% of the carbon footprint of conventional diesel and 35% in relation to first-generation biodiesel, according to an initial estimate.


Visit the SUPERBIODIESEL project website