About the project

To satisfy consumer demand for mushrooms, European farmers use over three million tonnes of compost each year. Though the compost contains valuable organic components, it is only suitable for one to three mushroom harvests, and disposing of it creates significant economic and logistical problems for Europe’s farmers –


The BIOrescue project aims to provide a solution by creating a novel biorefinery concept for mushroom compost, transforming it into valuable bio-based products such as bio-pesticides, biodegradable nano-carriers for drug or fertiliser encapsulation, and bio-based horticultural fertilisers.

The concept will be developed for a conventional mushroom farm in Ireland that will be retrofitted to become a sustainable and efficient biorefinery. To strengthen the competitiveness of the novel biorefinery concept, project partners will conduct economic and environmental impact assessments of the newly developed processes and bio-based products.

Expected results

BIOrescue will contribute to the emergence of a circular economy in Europe by recovering the vast majority of mushroom compost and reducing disposal costs for farmers. The bio-based products it develops, which are capable of replacing many fossil-based alternatives currently on the market, will also generate a new income stream for mushroom producers.

Project information

The BIOrescue consortium is a multidisciplinary team bringing together industrial players and research centres from eight different European countries, co-ordinated by CENER, Spain’s National Renewable Energy Centre. The project is co-financed by the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.