The overarching goal of the project is to introduce sustainable practices and close the loop of waste in Mediterranean (MED) agriculture in order to provide socio-economic (by presenting new products) and environmental benefits (by increasing biodiversity and conserving resources such as soil and water) through different methods that contribute to the zero-pollution ambition and resource recovery. The specific objectives are to:
Implement an intercropping system in olive groves by introducing local leguminous crops (that can adapt to climate change).
Test and apply the nature-based solution of constructed wetlands (CWs) for sustainable treatment of wastewater from the cork and olive oil industry.
Reuse treated agricultural wastewater in the irrigation of local leguminous crops.
Recover/produce high value-added by-products from agricultural and industrial residues and the reed biomass grown in the CWs in a closed loop of resources management.
Produce renewable energy via anaerobic digestion of lignocellulosic agro-industrial residues and reeds biomass grown in the CWs.
Identify optimum energy conversion routes (electric power, heat, cooling) of the biogas production under the MED context in the countryside.
Analyse the pressed anaerobic digestion residues (from biogas) as biofertilizer and identify possible routes for the production of biobased chemicals via valorization of lignin in the anaerobic residues.
Produce biochar from the residual biomass resulting from the maintenance of olive and cork trees and the anaerobic fermentation residues to amend soil.
Evaluate the project results with regards to economic, ecological and social parameters.
Communicate and disseminate the project results to farmers and general and professional public and enable the adaptation of the project outcome to other regions and MED countries.