Adriatic Sea Pilot aims to create a biorefinery scheme using the leftovers from seafood (mollusc and fish) processing industries placed in Ancona (Italy) that are mainly composed of one hard fraction (shell) rich in calcium carbonate and a soft fraction (meat) rich in protein.
CO.PE.MO produces 1.4 ± 0.2 t·d-1 of mollusc wastes from the processing of mussels, clams, and murex, while around 80 tons of fish wastes are disposed (viscera, bones, heads, etc) every year from a small fishery industry selling anchovies, monkfish, hake, salmon, gilthead, cuttlefish, etc. Mollusc wastes result in two different fractions that must be separated to optimize the recovery of added-value compounds: 67-85% of the total waste consists of shells and only the 15-33% corresponds to the residual meat. Shells have a low moisture content (<8%) and involve mainly calcium carbonate (more than 80% d.b.). Consequently, shells could be used as an alternative liming agent with a very low environmental footprint. This product is certainly of interest considering that the European median pH is 5.8 for Ap soil. On the other hand, the residual meat
has only 19-28 % of dry matter and its organic fraction accounts for 74-89%. Concerning fish waste, their characteristics are similar to those of the organic fraction of molluscs, showing comparable amounts of dry matter and crude proteins (50.1% d.b.). These proteins can be recovered as protein hydrolysates, while the rest of the organic matter can be used to produce a compost-biochar composite. It must be noted that the metal contents were under regulation limits. Hence, BBF products obtained from these seafood leftovers are expected to accomplish legal regulations in Italy and Europe.