CETIM participates as a technological partner in MEXIGAL, a sea circular economy project eligible for European Next Generation funds
Its objective is to produce organic and inorganic fertilizers for organic farming from mussel shells.
The Technological Centre will apply the know-how developed in the MEXICAL research financed by GAIN through the Conecta PEME grants.
Galicia is the second largest mussel producer in the world, so the development of new technologies to transform its waste opens up new business avenues for the canning industry.
CETIM Technological Centre maintains its position with MEXIGAL as a technological partner in circular economy projects linked to the marine sector. In addition, this is one of the first seven initiatives of the sea-industry chain that aspire to attract 550 million euros of Next Generation European funds, according to the Consellería do Mar de la Xunta de Galicia.
MEXIGAL is a project led by the Compañía Española de Algas Marinas (CEAMSA) for the valorization of the mussel shell and other remains from the processing of shellfish and seaweed with the aim of developing organic and inorganic fertilizers applicable to organic farming. In addition to CETIM, Vitalmar, other firms of the Proinsa Group and companies in the sector collaborate as partners.
First results of R&D
MEXICAL had among its objectives the use of the mussel shell in situ to obtain fertilizers and fodder for birds in a process with zero waste. It was developed between 2018 and 2020 and was subsidized by the Galician Innovation Agency (GAIN) within the framework of the Conecta PEME Program.
The MEXICAL partners (INDUTEC Ingenieros, TRESIMA, VITALMAR and Galaytec (leader) determined that the best methodology to optimize the shell of this mollusk in the shellfish cooker itself and achieve “zero waste” was enzymatic hydrolysis subjected to ultrafiltration. The plant Mussel shell treatment pilot, which is located at the Vitalmar facilities and which will now be reused in MEXIGAL’s research, has a capacity of 3 tons / hour.
Through both projects, MEXIGAL and MEXICAL, the objective is to promote the circular economy by reusing mussel derivatives, giving them a second life and opening new opportunities to the sector. Currently, Galicia is the second largest producer of mussels in the world, so the development of new technologies to transform its waste, the shell, into a new raw material opens a new business route for the canning industry.