Nutrients for the Planet from Waste with a Black Soldier Fly’s Larvae Solution

Procens

9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure 13. Climate Action 14. Life Below Water 15. Life on Land 17. Partnerships for the Goals

Overview

PROCENS is a biotechnology enterprise that aims to lead Argentina and Latin America in the development of a new industry based on insects.

The first step is a sustainable recycling solution with Black Soldier Fly’s (BSF) larvae modules to convert large volumes of food waste into premium protein for animal feed and natural compost for soil regeneration.

Authors

Ailin Fernandez

Ailin Fernandez

Pablo Arabadjian

Pablo Arabadjian

JOSE LUIS BLAZQUEZ

JOSE LUIS BLAZQUEZ

Agostina Pontelli

Agostina Pontelli

School

Pontificia Universidad Catolica Argentina

Pontificia Universidad Catolica Argentina

Professor

Aleandra Scafati

Aleandra Scafati

Innovation

The model proposed by PROCENS is to produce healthy nutrients on an industrial scale based on the process of breeding larvae and the recycling of food waste.

The Black Soldier Fly’s (BSF) larvae is capable of converting each ton of organic waste into 400 kilos of biofertilizer and 250 kilos of high protein that can be used to feed pigs, poultry and fish.

This process is energy efficient. It consumes 1/30 of the energy required to obtain equivalent protein from soybean meal. Comparatively to biodigestion and composting solutions, it proposes a cycle of a shorter process because waste is recycled within 14 days, unlike the conventional process that can take up to two months. It significantly reduces GHG emissions.

The space required is also much efficient. In comparison to soy flour, this process only needs one hundredth of the equivalent surface for the same yield and it can be constructed in modules as required using little space for expansion. Another advantage is that it can be installed close to or adjacent to pre-consumer organic waste sources.

For all these reasons PROCENS collaborates with the SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure) creating a disruptive industry that constitutes a sustainable alternative to the production of natural protein required to feed the constantly growing population. Additionally, it allows to create jobs for vulnerable people.

It also contributes with SDG 13 (Climate Action) reducing the pollution associated with organic waste; with SDG 14 (Life Below Water) replacing fishmeal supplies for the balanced feed industry with insect meal, helping to limit overfishing, preserving fish populations and conserving marine ecosystems; with SDG 15 (Life on Land) substituting chemical fertilizers through natural which contributes to preserve the microbiology of soils and terrestrial biodiversity.

Finally, it contributes to SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Goals) because PROCENS had to work together with public organizations and academic institutions to help to draft and put into effect the regulations and legislations necessary to work with "insects".

Nutrients for the Planet from Waste with a Black Soldier Fly’s Larvae Solution

Inspiration

Julien and François met in 2018 in Argentina as expats. One came from France, the other from Belgium. "At the moment we found out that we shared inspiring life stories and also that we had fallen in love with Argentina". They agreed that their main objective was to care for life in all its aspects and they fervently believed that they needed to build a new paradigm to reconnect the human being with the rest of the living world.

In this way, "we invented a productive model inspired by the functioning of natural ecosystems, under the concept of abundance and regeneration".

The project also has been created with other players by generating strategic alliances with public and private parties. Those interactions made it possible to have a regional law for the process itself which was not regulated for human consumption.

The beauty of this project is that it was born during the Pandemic, and since then, it has been carried out with passion and determination.

PROCENS "challenges us to rethink our values, our future as a society, and invites us to take action".

Overall impact

The network of alliances previously mentioned creates the structure for the local development of an industry with unlimited potential for the future of human feeding and with a strong positive impact on environmental regeneration.

PROCENS established an inclusive and innovative enterprise that creates jobs on site, a solution to an environmental pollution problem, and a cost-effective modular and replicable plant.

The use of an endemic species to respond to the waste problem like organic products, develops, through a circular economy model, a product with an enormous potential to impact significantly in reducing GHG emissions.

Business benefit

The innovation of PROCENS is the business.

Currently, the project is in a pilot phase which served to adjust details. At this point, they are capable of bioconvert 100 kilos per day.

The main source of income will come from the commercialization of its main products, which are:

1. A protein concentrate for animal feed, usable as a supplement in the balanced food for poultry, pigs, fish, and pets, with superior characteristics compared to soy protein.

2. An oil with a high content of lauric acid, (which is also used in industry cosmetics), especially indicated to improve the intestinal health of farm animals and pets.

3. A natural fertilizer highly efficient with 100% biological origin that improves the soil structure, increase the amount of organic matter available, and provides a significant amount of nutrients.

So far they have invested USD 1.5 million for the pilot project. They estimate that the sales in 2022 for these products will reach USD 56,000, and they will process 5 tons of food waste daily.

In 2023 they expect to have a full industrial plant running, which will be able to process 100 tons of food waste per day.

They expect to reach economic stability by 2026, allowing them to generate revenues of USD 5.9 million annually.

Social and environmental benefit

PROCENS, in the social arena, invests in local research know-how, generates green and inclusive jobs and promotes community development.

PROCENS in the environmental arena, it is thought as a regenerative program in a cycle economic model.

PROCENS is also a strategic ally of the Sembrando Futuro program, an NGO that includes young people from vulnerable sectors into the labour market.

Interviews

Julien Laurençon, CEO and Co-Founder

François Nolet, Co-Founder

Photo of interviewee

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Procens

Procens

Balcarce, Buenos Aires, AR

Business Website: https://www.procens.org/

Year Founded: 2019

Number of Employees: 11 to 50

PROCENS is aiming to lead the development of an insect-based industry in Argentina and Latin America through the development of a rich nutrient by recycling waste.

PROCENS developed a modular and replicable industrial facility to breed Black Soldier Fly’s (BSF) larvae in order to convert local organic waste into premium protein for animal feed and biofertilizer for the soil, through a zero waste and zero emission production process.