An insects biorefinery approach as a strategy to unlock the nutritional and energy potential in co-located lignocellulosic industrial side streams (UNLOCK)

The UNLOCK project aims to meet the EU’s Renewable Energby Directive (RED) II by transforming Brewer’s Spent Grain (BSG) into advanced biofuels and animal feed. It uses the fungus Neurospora crassa and Black Soldier Fly Larvae (BSFL) to convert BSG’s structural polysaccharides into fat and protein. This involves Solid-State Culture and Solid-State Enzymatic Hydrolysis to generate sugars that can be used as feed for BSFL, whose fats are then processed to a fatty acid stream by SunPine that can be integrated into existing oil refineries producing biodiesel.

The project aims to achieve over 50% conversion of BSG to larval fat, and more than 90% efficiency in fat and protein extraction. It also targets 20% lower greenhouse gas emissions compared to existing methods.

Partners include universities LTU and SLU, industries SunPine and Bottenvikens bryggeri, and the Boden Business Agency and Hushållningssällskapet. The project supports Boden’s carbon-neutral goals and offers a sustainable alternative to traditional fuels


Paul Christakopoulos

Luleå University of Technology (LTU)

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Project information


Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences SLU
Bottenvikens bryggeri
Bodens utveckling AB
Hushållningssällskapet i Norrbotten-Västerbotten

Time schedule

December 2023 - December 2027

Total cost of project

7 587 731 SEK

Swedish Energy Agency project number