The recovery of bioactive substances and nutrients from olive mill wastes to produce biostimulants and biofertilizers, the valorisation of the lignocellulosic fraction to obtain biopolymers, and the recovery of bioenergy from residual biomass, the development of new agroecological farming solutions to enhance the agroecosystem resilience under a circular economy perspective will be foreseen under the frame of 4BIOLIVE project.

With the final goal of developing a new farming system based on the valorisation of olive-oil mill wastes, 4BIOLIVE presents an integrated approach, combining different expertises, knowledge and background in the following research areas:
1) Agricultural: developments of novel biofertilizer and biostimulant solutions to improve soil quality and protect crops against abiotic stresses and dangerous plant pathogens able to cause damages and economic losses in nursery, greenhouse and in open field;
2) Material sciences: specification, processing and characterization of biobased materials from natural sources to be used in the production of engineered nanocarriers for product treatment in agricultural sector;
3) Chemistry: optimization of separation and functionalization procedures aimed to adsorb, bond and encapsulate active ingredients on/into selected nanostructured lignin to improve their availability, stability and to promote their controlled release;
4) Environmental biotechnology or Energy: optimization of the recovery of bioenergy from residual biomass through anaerobic digestion and co-digestion of different wastes;
5) Sustainability: sustainable processing and products from the environmental (LCA) and economic (cost analyses) point of view.

4BIOLIVE is built on 4 phases, corresponding to one or more Work Packages:
Phase 1: Selection and characterization of olive mill wastes, identification of high value ingredients and extraction of biostimulants and biofertilizers (WP1).
Phase 2: Processing of raw materials and lignocellulosic fractions to obtain biostimulants, biofertilizers and carriers for the controlled release of bioactive compounds, valorisation of the residual biomass after extraction of high-value bioproducts for biogas production, evaluation of the effects on plant and soil (WP2-WP3-WP4-WP5).
Phase 3: Trials to test the effectiveness of biostimulants, biofertilizers and biopolymers on fruit orchards (WP6).

Phase 4: Adoption of environmentally, socially and economically sustainable agroecosystems (WP7).
Two additional transversal WPs regarding dissemination/exploitation of the project results (WP8) and management (WP9) will be considered.

WP1. Selection and characterization of olive mill wastes (Leader, INRAA)
WP2. Lignin nanoparticles from olive mill wastes as carrier for the controlled release of bioactive compounds (Leader, UNIPG)
WP3.Valorization of the residual biomass after extraction of high-value bioproducts for biogas production (Leader, UPC)
WP4. Effects of biostimulants and biopolymers on plants (Leader, UNIPG)
WP5. Effect of biofertilizers and biopolymers on soil (Leader, UNIPG)
WP6. Effectiveness of biostimulants and biofertilizers on fruit orchards (Leader, CRRHAB)
WP7. Design and evaluation of the adoption of environmentally, socially and economically sustainable agroecosystems production (Leader, UPC)
WP8. Communication/dissemination (Leader, ISEAH/UM)
WP9. Project Management (Leader, UNIPG)

WP1 activities, led by INRAA, will consist in the selection of olive oil wastes (OMWW, OMSW and POM) and extraction of active substances to be used in WP2, WP4 and WP5, to obtain, respectively, lignin based biopolymeric substrates, biostimulants and biofertilizers. The residues of the extraction phase will be recovered for the production of biogas in WP3.

WP2, led by UNIPG, will focus on the preparation of additives (lignin nanoparticles, lignin based polymeric substrates coming from the extraction processes in WP1 to be used in the final applications considered in WP4 and WP5. In detail, lab scale preparation of lignin nanoparticles and biopolymeric substrates blends based on lignin containing different active additives selected in WP1 will be considered.

WP3, led by UPC, will study the anaerobic digestion and co-digestion of residual biomass from high-value bioproducts extraction in previous WPs. Residual biomass will be characterized to define the anaerobic digestion and co-digestion strategies to be tested, and the properties of the effluent (digestate) for agricultural reuse will also be evaluated. Gathered data will be used for the sustainability assessment in WP7.
WP4, led by UNIPG, will evaluate the effect on maize, chosen as a model plant for its relevance on the global market, of the materials obtained in WP1, WP2 and W3. In detail, the effects of the materials obtained in the above WPs will be tested on the physiology, biochemistry and nutrition of maize plants grown in normal conditions and under stress (drought and salinity).

In WP5, led by UNIPG, the efficiency of the products and substrates developed in previous WPs will be evaluated by monitoring the controlled release of active compounds and nutrients into the soil. The release of bioactive molecules and nutrients will be monitored considering how the hydrophilic/hydrophobic nature of lignin polymer products will change in the presence of abiotic factors. The effect of different soil environments will be crucial for the assessment of the best full-scale application.

WP6, led by CRRHAB, will assess the effect of biofertilizers and biostimulants on pomegranate plants in greenhouse and trees in the orchard. The experiment consists on the use of products provided in WP1, WP2 and WP3 in the nutrition and in the reduction of negative effects of abiotic stresses especially drought and salinity. Several measurements and analyses will be performed, such as physiological and agronomic parameters, soil status. Obtained results will be disseminated (WP8) and the socioeconomic and sustainability impact of these studies will be considered in WP7.

In WP7, led by UPC, the products and processes considered will be evaluated for their economic and environmental performance through life cycle assessment and analysis of environmental, economic and social costs, in order to maximise their exploitation potential and evaluate their industrial profitability. Therefore, a comparison will be made with existing solutions, the economic feasibility of new formulations will be assessed in order to find the most efficient solutions in terms of materials and production methods. The effect of economic parameters such as available quantities and price of raw materials will also be evaluated, a market analysis of the prices of bio-based materials from similar biomass already existing on the market will be made.

In WP8, led by ISEAH/UM, communication and dissemination techniques of the project results will be implemented. In order to promote the impact of the project activities and results, all stakeholders will be involved in communication and dissemination. This WP will ensure that the objectives of the project, the methodologies developed and the results will be promoted among the target groups precisely outlined in the communication and dissemination plan. Networking, also with other similar projects, will promote the impact of 4BIOLIVE and the exploitation of the results.

WP9, led by UNIPG, will cover the strategic management and coordination of the project. In this WP the project workflow will be identified, deviations will be checked and corrective actions will be implemented. It aims to ensure the efficient completion of all prescribed tasks, supporting appropriate communication within the consortium.

This project is part of the PRIMA programme supported by the European Union Any dissemination of results must indicate that it reflects only the author's view and that the PRIMA Foundation is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains