Staying ahead of the technology curve means strengthening your competitive advantage. That is why we give you data-driven innovation insights into the agriculture sector. This time, you get to discover 5 hand-picked startups upcycling agricultural waste.
Out of 578, the Global Startup Heat Map highlights 5 Top Startups upcycling Agricultural Waste
The insights of this data-driven analysis are derived from the Big Data & Artificial Intelligence-powered StartUs Insights Discovery Platform, covering 2 093 000+ startups & scaleups globally. The platform gives you an exhaustive overview of emerging technologies & relevant startups within a specific field in just a few clicks.
The Global Startup Heat Map below reveals the distribution of the 578 exemplary startups & scaleups we analyzed for this research. Further, it highlights 5 startups that we hand-picked based on criteria such as founding year, location, funding raised, and more. You get to explore the solutions of these 5 startups & scaleups in this report. For insights on the other 573 agricultural waste upcycling solutions, get in touch.
Alt Materials advances Waste-to-Textile Conversion
In developing regions of the world, the common method of managing large amounts of crop waste involves dumping or incineration. This releases air pollutants and soil contaminants, mainly through the leaching of chemical fertilizers or pesticides. To prevent this, startups are creating sustainable processes that convert crop waste into usable textile fibers.
Indian startup Alt Materials specializes in sustainable technologies and processes to convert crop waste. Their waste-to-textile conversion solution uses very little water, all of which is treated and mostly rescued, and does not produce hazardous chemicals. The yarns and fibers are produced by blending waste of food crops like hemp, oilseed, banana fruit, pineapple fruit, cotton, modal, and lyocell with sustainable biochemistry. Their scalable production process creates high-quality and environmentally sustainable alternatives for the textile industry.
ZooProtein enables Meat Waste Processing
A significant portion of land available for cultivation goes towards the production of crops to feed livestock. Subsequently, the time and effort required to grow and harvest crops reduce the economical value of livestock feed. Chemical supplements, additives, and medicines reduce the amount of feed required but may result in side effects. For these reasons, startups are creating feed alternatives from recycled meat waste using fly larvae.
Russian startup ZooProtein develops protein-rich animal feed through agricultural meat waste processing. The solution uses Lucilia caesar fly larvae with a growth cycle of 5 days, during which the larva secretes crushed meat waste which quickly decomposes the waste, making it available for processing. As a result, all meat waste is converted into living biomass of fly larvae and processed substrate, which later becomes organic fertilizer. This allows livestock raising operations to recycle meat waste and recycle it into animal feed rich in protein.
Circulus Agtech facilitates Residual Matter Valorization
The large sources of waste in farms, apart from crop harvesting waste, include manure and compost. After crop harvests, manure and compost layers are discarded due to most of their nutrients being transferred to the harvested crops. As this creates high amounts of waste, startups are upcycling fertilizing residual matter (FRM) to reduce dependence on artificial fertilizers.
Canadian startup Circulus Agtech uses manure and compost to create organic liquid fertilizers suitable for hydroponics. The conversion process uses liquid extractions on FRM along with close monitoring of biological reactions which results in rich organic liquid fertilizer. Their technology uses ion activity monitoring to precisely assess the concentrations of key nutrients. The solution, thereby, increases the sustainability of operations with economic, locally sourced inputs for agricultural and hydroponic farms.
Full Circle Microbes provides Biofertilizers
As the legalization of cannabis gains traction, so too does the scale of commercialized cannabis farming. After a harvest, cannabis plant stocks retain a high amount of nitrogen accumulated from soil which makes it an excellent compost material. However, most plant waste generated from cannabis harvest is dumped in landfills or incinerated. Therefore, startups are developing simple and economical solutions to convert waste cannabis stalk into fertilizers.
Full Circle Microbes is a US-based startup that produces microbes to convert cannabis waste into biofertilizers. The startup’s solution works by taking stalks and biomass after harvesting, grinding them, and then adding the microbes. After a short few weeks, the biomass is mixed with growth substrate which results in a nourishing and natural fertilizer substitute. Their solution provides farmers with an easy, scalable, and cost-effective method to sustainably recycle cannabis waste.
Multibox develops Insect-based Animal Feed
The need for animal feed is constantly decreasing while the land available for raising such crops remains limited. As a result, the agricultural industry is utilizing insects as a source of high-nutrition feed to reduce the burden on agricultural land. Moreover, insect farming using agricultural waste further improves the sustainability and profitability of agricultural operations. This is why startups provide technologies and processes that raise insects using crop waste.
British startup Multibox creates alternative animal feeds by raising insects. The startup grows micro-herds of insects by feeding them with vegetable crops and manufacturing waste. After the insects reach maturity, they are processed to produce fish and animal feed that is rich in proteins. Additionally, it monitors the complete value chain from the waste source using cameras, sensors, radio tags, and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems to maximize the benefits to insect farmers and breeders.
Discover more AgriTech Startups
AgriTech startups such as the examples highlighted in this report focus on animal feed, alternative proteins as well as agrochemicals. While all of these technologies play a major role in advancing the agricultural industry, they only represent the tip of the iceberg. To explore more agricultural technologies, simply get in touch to let us look into your areas of interest. For a more general overview, you can download our free AgriTech Innovation Report to save your time and improve strategic decision-making.