Zero Emissions Wine Production
ZEWIPRO Consortium aims at introducing a new tech-
nology on the wine production’s market that reduces the
emission of CO released during the grape fermentation
process, giving the opportunity to cellars of entering a very
profitable business as the breeding of high quality algae.
ZEWIPRO is a project co-funded by the Eco-innova-
tion Initiative of the European Union, which aims at
the development of innovative solutions with low en-
vironmental impact and a better use of resources.
Project coordinator: ENCO srl
Project website: www.zewipro.com
Start date of project: 06 July 2011
Duration: 36 Months
List of contents
Project Overview: ZEWIPRO solution 5
Objectives and Expected outcomes 6
ZEWIPRO Technology 7
Potential Market 9
Business Plan 10
Wine production in Europe represents a business activity in-
volving a huge number of companies. Whereas the European
Union is the world leader in this strategic sector, with on ave-
rage 165 million hectolitres every year, accounting for 45% of
wine-growing areas, 65% of global production, 57% of global
consumption and 70% of exports in global terms, ZEWIPRO
solution is expected to have a noteworthy impact.
The amount of CO released onto the atmosphere deriving
from wine production is significant. A small/medium winery
processes roughly 1500 tons of must, which approximately
develops 145 tons of CO during the fermentation process.
For this reason ZEWIPRO Consortium took initiative and pro-
posed an adequate action in order to reduce and reuse the
carbon dioxide deriving from fermentation.
Carbon dioxide is the main responsible for causing the “gre-
enhouse gasses effect”, worsening the planet warming and
hindering the global environment. Carbon dioxide is also a
serious safety issue for wineries staff directly engaged in the
process during the fermentation season. In addition there
are other molecules that could also be harmful to the human
beings such as the sulphur dioxide and other volatile organic
The aim of the ZEWIPRO project is introducing an innovati-
ve technology on the wine production’s market. The imple-
mented technology massively reduces the emission of carbon
dioxide released during the fermentation process, giving me-
anwhile the opportunity to cellars of entering a very profitable
business as the sell of algae breed. Thanks to their proper-
ties, algae are used to produce a wide variety of commercially
interesting by-products such as fats, oils, sugars and functio-
nal bioactive compounds.
Project Overview: ZEWIPRO solution
ZEWIPRO proposes an innovative system for the recovery of carbon dioxide gas and
the wastewaters degradation produced by the fermentation of must, exploiting the
photosynthetic process of the micro-algae, through an algal photo-bioreactor.
ZEWIPRO system allows the purification of CO making it suitable for the breeding
of algae. These organisms are able to purify the cellar’s wastewaters by their ability
to use the dangerous substances for their nourishment. This solution allows con-
siderable savings in relation to the depuration costs. The system is also capable of
recovering the condensed ethanol maintaining excellent levels of purity.
The concept of biotechnological reuse of CO by a photo bioreactor is innovative
within wine industry. Introducing such a method on market as the breed algae will
be successful, thanks to their cost-efficient and environmental friendly features,
besides high quality product. The technology proposed by ZEWIPRO project can
help solve problems the wineries face in relation to the handling of gaseous pollu-
tants during the wine fermentation process.
The application of ZEWIPRO allows tackle the problem by enormously reducing
the CO emissions, giving at the same time an additional income to them and
improving the safety of working conditions inside wine cellars.
Wineries might save on installation costs by signing commercial agreements with
companies interested in the production of algae-derived products, or they might
sell themselves the final algal product to target markets (in the Pharmaceuticals,
Nutraceuticals, Cosmeceuticals, Food Additives, Pigment, Bio-Solvent, Bio-Fertili-
zer and Renewable Fuel Markets) after having undertaken the full installation cost.
The main beneficiaries of the ZEWIPRO solution will be cellars as well as algae-de-
rived commodities producers.
ZEWIPRO system has the advantage to recover 95% of the water by using wastewa-
ter from winemaking process. Whereas the CO exploited by photo bioreactor deri-
ves from the wine fermentation, the resulting algae biomass is of superior quality.
ZEWIPRO system is able to produce algae with a quantity of lipids per litre superior
of 50% in relation to the traditional method (CO in cylinders), with an Omega 3
content of approximately 25% compared to the total amount of lipids.
The purpose of the ZEWIPRO project is to place on the market a
solution, photo bioreactors, for the cultivation of algae, exploiting
carbon dioxide released during the grape fermentation. ZEWIPRO
pursued the following goals:
Net decrease of the greenhouse gas emissions.
Net decrease of ethylic alcohol otherwise released onto
Drastic reduction of odours emitted by the cellar during
the fermentation period.
Net reduction of nitrogen and phosphor contained in the
ZEWIPRO, through the activities planned in work packages, is
expected to achieve the following results:
Implementation of a zero emission wine production.
Developing algae market.
Repetition of the project in other sectors having similar
Contribution to the transition to a more sustainable
society and bio-based economy.
Fostering renewable energy source.
Marketing of an eco-friendly process for the breeding of
Diversification of economic benefits for cellars and wine
producers and image payback.
Resource savings compared to the traditional
Remarkable improvements concerning the safety
conditions for cellar staff.
ZEWIPRO system follows this logical sequence: fermentation tank,
line capture, gas purification, storage, gas injection line, photo bio-
reactor, as shown in the figure below.
It is a horizontal low pressure tubular photo bioreactor, where the
photosynthesis process of the micro-algae takes place with the
use of carbon dioxide.
ZEWIPRO system captures the gas produced from the fer-
mentation of must and it conveys towards a condenser.
The CO is then stored and sent to the bioreactor. The pho-
to-bioreactor itself promotes biological growth of algae by
controlling environmental parameters including light.
Comparing ZEWIPRO technology in parallel with the
growth of the algae obtained with traditional methods, we
can state to have reached much better results. In fact, we
obtained a quantity of lipids per litre, superior of 50% in
relation to the traditional method.
The algal biomass that is produced by the
photo-bioreactor can be recovered and used in different
applications. Thanks to their properties and contents as
Proteins, Carbohydrates, Unsaturated fatty acids and
Nucleic Acids, algae are used to produce a wide variety of
commercially interesting by-products.
Whereas the EU is the world leader in wine production, it entails a
significant amount of CO released. Within the EU, France, Italy and
Spain represent around 80% of total production, with around 120.000
Mhl of wine produced in 2013.
This datum shows the potential for the implementation of the paten-
ted technology for the recovery of CO and its fixation in algae.
Algae are commercially cultivated for numerous application as for
pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, cosmetic and aquaculture purpo-
se. Furthermore they are useful for the production of compounds,
as bio-filters aiming at remove pollutants from wastewaters, to as-
say water quality, as indicators of environmental change, and as la-
boratory research systems. Finally, they are a sustainable source of
renewable energy (Biodiesel, Bioethanol and Biobutanol).
The figure below highlights the commercial application of algal
The three main application segments under development, which re-
present the key target market ZEWIPRO will address to, are Dietary
Supplements, Functional foods and beverage, Pharmaceuticals and
Infant formula. These strategic sectors are expected to become the
main market driver.
ZEWIPRO technology will be targeted to the three lead
second stage, to Germany and Romania. The five target
markets are promising both for the opportunity to recover
carbon dioxide from the winemaking process and for the
possibility to trade there the algae, being the countries
where algae demand/consumption has grown
significantly in the last years.
The business approach ZEWIPRO Consortium will follow
is proposing an agreement with cellars for the installa-
tion of the photo bioreactor exploiting the carbon dioxide
released during the grape fermentation.
However, the marketing strategy is based on a twin-track
approach focused on promoting ZEWIPRO benefits to
companies working both in winemaking sector as to tho-
se operating in algae market.
ZEWIPRO Consortium includes Italian, Dutch and Spanish partners:
ENCO, ALGAELINK, BODEGAS SOLAR VIEJO de LAGUARDIA and FAZI
BATTAGLIA SOCIETÀ AGRICOLA SRL.
ENCO - Engineering and Consulting – has been operating since 1987
in the areas of research and innovation and technical assistance
to SMEs. It is specialized in enterprise development and business
consulting, industrial research, local development, design and
management of EU-funded projects. ENCO is the Project Coordinator,
assuring the correct progress of the project in terms of costs, timing,
quality and milestones, guaranteeing a specialised expertise in terms
of market uptake thus giving a strong strategic support to the success
of ZEWIPRO technology.
ALGAELINK is a specialised company in algae breeding technolo-
gies. It has got the Intellectual Property Right (IPR) and provides the
patented technology to cellars, supports in implementation, start-up
and optimization of the system. It is involved in the training activities
of the internal wineries staff. ALGAELINK guarantees direction and
organisation of the plants implementation and a complete set-up of
the technology and of the monitoring software.
BODEGAS SOLAR VIEJO de LAGUARDIA is a Spanish cellar which
cooperates with the local wine growers for generations, assuring
the best quality of grapes for their products. The combination of top
quality grapes, a long wine making tradition and new technology allow
them to offer highest quality wines.
FAZI BATTAGLIA SOCIETÀ AGRICOLA SRL is located in Castelplanio,
in the Italian Region Marche. They are very active in improving the
quality of research that combines tradition to innovation.
Both cellars are implementing the proposed technology in their
production. Thanks to their settlement they can strongly contribute to
the commercial success of the ZEWIPRO technology in their countries
(Italy and Spain).
Mr. Marco de la Feld
Mr. Peter van den Dorpel