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24, chemin de Borde Rouge -Auzeville - CS52627 31326 Castanet Tolosan cedex - France

Last update: May 2021

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Fractionation of AgroResources and Environment lab


Our projects are presented according to the funding source, principal investigator for FARE lab are indicated.

European Projects








Zero Waste Ligno-Cellulosic Bio-Refineries

Contact : Bernard KUREK

   2016         -       2021

The ZELCOR project aims to demonstrate the feasibility of converting recalcitrant lignocellulosic residues from biorefineries into high value-added bioproducts. The project concept is to combine chemical and enzymatic catalysis with insect-based bioconversion. It covers three types of recalcitrant materials: lignocellulose from ethanol production, lignins dissolved during the pulping process and humins formed by sugar conversion. A transversal platform will be set up to identify bioproducts of commercial interest among multifunctional nanoparticles, phenolic antioxidants, chitosans of entomological origin and aromatic intermediates. It will improve our knowledge of the structure-function relationships and mechanisms involved in the catalytic depolymerisation and bioconversion of recalcitrant residues.


logo eragas

Improved estimation and mitigation of nitrous oxide emissions and soil carbon storage from crop residues

Contacts :
Sylvie RECOUS,

   2017         -       2021

Crop residues provide significant inputs of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) to soils and contribute to the net GHG balance of soils. N2O emissions from crop residues vary considerably depending on the quality of the residues, their management and the soils and climate. This situation is currently not reflected in the methodology of national emission inventories. The European ResidueGas project (co-fund FACCE ERA-GAS call) will propose an improved methodology for quantifying N2O emissions from the management of agricultural crop residues, for a wide range of crops, taking into account their biochemical composition and their management in the field, for a diversity of soils and climate in Northern Europe. The project is based on the collection of published data, laboratory and field experiments, and modelling. ResidueGas will also propose improved crop residue management practices to improve their net GHG balance.


Valorization of wheat bran into surface-active molecules

Contact : Caroline REMOND

   2017         -       2021

ValBran will develop original and environmentally friendly biotechnological and green chemistry pathways for the production of various surfactant molecules from wheat bran. Molecules with high added value for various applications (cosmetics, detergents, phytosanitary agents…) will be targeted. The approach will consist of developing several laboratory-scale transformation pathways and then selecting the most promising(s) for pilot upscaling in order to obtain economic and environmental impact of the developed process(es). Wheat bran residues generated during the process will be of interest for animal feed.
This project involves the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne (FARE and ICMR units), the University of Picardie Jules Verne (GEC unit), the French competitiveness cluster “Industries des Agro-Ressources” (IAR) In Wallonia the University of Liège (AgroBioTech Gembloux, laboratory LBMI), the Walloon association ValBiom and the Greenwin cluster. In Flanders the project include the VITO research and technology centre, the INAGRO association and the Catalisti cluster.
Together, those partners will become important players in the field of biorefinery and bioeconomy. WWW


Cross-border development of composite materials polymer-natural fibers

Contact : Françoise BERZIN

   2017         -        2020

The COMPOSENS project proposes an original approach that combines fibre treatment plant by clean processes and sensory remediation for development new polymer-natural fibre polymer composite materials that meet the requirements of the expenses of industrialists in the cross-border area. Innovative ways are being considered: impregnation of fibres with thermoplastics, polymer compound with natural fibers for additive manufacturing (3D printing). In order to align research with real industrial needs, with a view to economic opportunities, COMPOSENS relies on exchanges with these manufacturers.


BioCommodity Refinery

Contact : Caroline REMOND

   2016         -       2020

The objective of the BABET-REAL5 project is to develop an alternative solution for the production of 2G ethanol, competitive at smaller industrial scale and therefore applicable to a large numbers of countries, rural areas and feedstock. The target is to reach technical, environmental and economical viabilities in production units processing from 30,000 tons equivalent dry biomass per year. The main concept underpinning the project relies on a new biomass conversion process able to run all the steps from the pretreatment of the raw material to the enzymatic pre-hydrolysis in a one-stage-reactor under mild operating conditions. The new process will be developed to TRL5. WWW  

Carnot Projects

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Optimised extraction of anthocyanins from distillers' ground and improvement of their functionality as colour agents and antioxidants

Contact : Caroline Rémond


The ColorANTH project aims to develop a process for extracting anthocyanins from grape marc by combining microwaves and the use of enzymes. One of the objectives will be to enzymatically modulate the composition and structure of anthocyanins to increase their stability and properties. The spin-offs of the ColorANTH project will be both fundamental (better knowledge of the mechanism of extraction of anthocyanins from grape marc and their structure-properties relationships) and technological (development of a process combining microwaves and enzymes for the extraction of anthocyanins and development of a biocatalytic process for the functionalization of anthocyanins).


Oxidation of lignocelluloses by chemically and enzymatically generated hydroxyl radicals

Contact : Bernard KUREK


The Lignoxyl project aims to identify the active oxygen species involved in the oxidation of lignified plant walls, and then to model the stages of their formation and their reactions with lignocelluloses. The long-term objective is to be able to predict the effects of ROS on substrates in enzymatic biorefinery operations or the structuring of materials by radical reactions.

National Research Agency Projects







Multiscale Analysis and Spatio-temporal Modelling of Deconstruction of Lignocellulosic Biomass

Contact : Yassin REFAHI


The conversion of lignocellulose into products such as biofuels and bio-based molecules can be a solution to concerns over growing energy demand and contribute to climate change mitigation. However, lignocellulosic biomass (LB) is naturally recalcitrant to enzymatic deconstruction. Extensive research for understanding the parameters underlying LB recalcitrance has led to the identification of several chemical and physical parameters which not universal and are specific to LB species and/or pretreatment type. Goal of BIOMOD project is to develop an original combination of confocal time-lapse imaging of LB samples during enzymatic hydrolysis, 4D (space + time) image processing, and spatio-temporal modelling to identify universal key structural parameters at cellular and tissular scales correlated with hydrolysis yield.


Proof of concept for the functionalization of lignins by applying laccase-deshydrogenase enzymatic treatments in biobased materials applications

Contact : Véronique AGUIE-BEGHIN


FuncLIPRO project aims to increase our knowledge of lignin-degrading enzymes (LDEs) and the mechanism of lignin deconstruction and modification. It also aims to provide proof of concept for the use of LDEs to transform these lignins into green adhesives, protective films and new agro-sourced composites.


Nanoscale investigations of water effects on wood S2 layer and wood-inspired polymeric nano-systems, combining MD and advanced experiments

Contact : Brigitte CHABBERT

2019- 2022

The aim of this project is to understand the hygromechanical behavior of moisture-sensitive materials like cellulose-based materials. We use wood as the base natural model and synthetize different wood polymer systems, in order to quantify the physical impact of micro-climatic conditions. We probe the systems systematically, combining experimental characterization and atomistic modeling, and pioneering a meticulous match of the scales of the experimental and in-silico investigations

Grand-Est Region - Feder Projects







Production of decarbonated hydrogen and bio-sourced materials in the Grand-Est with an integrated biorefinery concept

Contact : Gabriel PAËS

2019 - 2022

Wood energy and the by-products of the wood industries are currently insufficiently developed and represent a strong economic potential for our region. This project proposes to develop a sustainable use of wood in thermo-chemical biorefineries integrated in the form of green energies, in particular decarbonated hydrogen.


Biomolecules and Biomaterials for Regional Bioeconomy

Contact : Bernard KUREK


The 3BR project focuses on three major plant resources in the Grand-East region (hemp, hops, oilseeds) in order to maximise their value in a circular economy context. This research project, which combines fundamental and application aspects, covers the entire value chain: production, fractionation, purification of biomolecules, development of biomaterials, energy recovery, soil improvement

Champagne-Ardenne Region, Feder, Fondation URCA Projects







Multi-scale Modelling of Lignocellulosic Biomass Deconstruction

PhD Student : Laurent Chapillon                           Supervisors : Yassin REFAHI and Gabriel PAËS


The project initially aims to develop a pipeline of computational tools to extract the dynamics of the voxel intensity (volumetric pixel) representing the enzymatic deconstruction of lignocellulosic biomass. The extracted values will then be used to estimate the parameters of a spatialized hierarchical kinetic model. A correlation analysis between the temporal evolution of voxel intensities and cell wall composition will allow to propose hypotheses on the mechanisms underlying the recalcitrance of lignocellulose. The genericity of the proposed hypotheses and the model predictions will be studied on different biomass species.



Spatialization and dynamics of the physical and chemical properties of crop residues by airborne imaging.

PhD Student : Noémie Lafouge                           Supervisors : Sylvie RECOUS and Brigitte CHABBERT


The RESAERO project aims to explore and compare methods for measuring the physico-chemical characteristics of biomasses and the rate of soil cover by these biomasses, by airborne imagery in the field. Three spectral domains associated with different spatial resolutions are explored in semi-controlled and field conditions.  Collaboration INRAE, CReSTIC, TERRALAB


Multi-scale approach of the dynamical deconstruction of lignocellulosic biomass

PhD Student : Amandine Leroy                           Supervisor : Gabriel PAËS


The goal of this project is to follow in a dynamical way the hydrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass by combining spectral, structural and chemical techniques. Resulting markers will be gathered to determine their interactions and their impact on hydrolysis.


CARActerisation by Electrochemical Methods of Bacterial Ligninolytic Enzymes and their implementation in the valorisation of lignocellulosic biomass

PhD Student : Issa Fall                                 Supervisor : Harivoni Rakotoarivonina


The main objective of this thesis is to develop an efficient enzymatic process to release aromatic molecules from lignins. The adapted strategy is to produce thermostable bacterial enzymes, to thoroughly characterise the properties of these enzymes (by electrochemical methods in the presence of aromatic molecules or biomimetic membranes of lignins) to determine their potentialities, and finally to implement the identified and characterised enzymes in the presence of lignins and to evaluate the released aromatic molecules.


Study of the production of natural smicrobial pigments during the fractionation of lignocellulosic biomass

PhD Student : Matthieu Cassarini                      Supervisors :  Ludovic Besaury and Caroline Rémond 


Natural microbial pigments have many advantages compared to synthetic pigments of petrochemical origin (low environmental impact of their production, non-toxicity). Pigments are widely used in the medical and cosmetic sectors, as bio-indicators of pollution or as anti-microbial agents.)  The use of lignocellulosic biomasses is of interest for the microbial production of microbial metabolites such as pigments. The aim of the thesis project is to develop innovative white biotechnology approaches to produce pigments of interest by growth on lignocellulosic substrates.


Cohesion properties of lignocellulosic fibrous structures

Contact : Véronique AGUIE-BEGHIN 


The project is related to one of the main research topic developed at INRA: “the agricultural products, their transformations and characterizations”. The main goal of this project is to develop new methodologies in atomic force microscopy at nanometric scale for measuring and understanding the cohesion properties between lignocellulosic polymers in fibre or between the fibre and its matrix in composite materials, for a better control in the long term of the quality of lignocellulosic resources and their transformation.


Mapping of the mechanical and chemical characteristics of lignocellulosic fibres

Contact : Brigitte CHABBERT


The project aims to understand the relationships between parietal architecture and the mechanical behaviour of fibres by studying the effect of chemical and/or enzymatic modifications of long fibres by favouring a multiscale approach (macro/micro/nanometric). The experimental approach will be based on the implementation of appropriate methodologies for the cartographic analysis of mechanical and chemical characteristics by combining the expertise and developments of the URCA partner laboratories (FARE, LRN) and the Univ Floride Centre (Pr Tétard; USA), by approaches dedicated to the local analysis of the target components (microspectroscopy and AFM IR, Raman..., confocal microscopy) coupled with mechanical surface analyses to provide access to information available at different scales (fibre/parietal strata or parietal strata domain (AFM, nanoindentation). The challenge of the project will be to develop a modelling approach integrating knowledge of fibre properties, 3D fibre composition and wall architecture.


Advances microscopy techniques for 4D imaging of lignocellulosic biomass deconstruction

Contact : Gabriel PAËS


This project aims at designing and applying confocal microscopy imaging and analysis tools in 4D in order to follow the structure of lignocellulosic biomass during their hydolysis by enzymatic cocktails.

Other projects






Collect and valorization “open science” of data of organic resources recycled in soil

Contact : Gwenaëlle LASHERMES


Efforts have been made over the last 30 years to study the soil organic matter decomposition process. The COLLECT-OR project aims at capitalizing, organizing and sharing as "open data" the data that INRAE scientists agree to share. The COLLECT-OR project brings together scientists from the FARE, Agroécologie, BioEcoAgro, Eco&Sols, SAS, EcoSys, ISPA, UREP at INRAE and CIRAD (Recycling and Risk) laboratories for their data, and the VSoil modeling platform (EMMAH). This project will make it possible the data meta-analysis, the calibration of numerical tools or the acquisition of references easily mobilized and opened to all.


Production and functionalization of xylo‐ and manno oligosaccharides into biologically active compounds: development of a continuous enzymatic process by combining biocatalysis and membrane technology

Contact : Caroline REMOND


Xylo- (XOs) and manno-oligosaccharides (MOs) are emerging prebiotics exhibiting physiological properties that are beneficial to human and animal health. Prebiotics are non-digestible food ingredients that promote the growth of beneficial microorganisms in the gut. XOs and MOs are currently produced by the enzymatic hydrolysis of xylan and mannan polysaccharides that are extracted from different lignocellulosic biomasses. The currently used batch-based processes however result in XOs and MOs with short chain lengths and low product yields due to the inhibition of the enzymes by the produced products. Therefore, there is a need to develop a continuous membrane based enzymatic process for the production of XOs and MOs at high yields and with longer chain lengths resulting in enhanced prebiotic activity.
The project relies on the development of an enzyme membrane reactor (EMR) in which enzymatic conversion of biomass will be combined with membrane separation to (i) tailor the length of the oligosaccharides to increase prebiotic activity and to (ii) intensify the enzymatic process by removing the enzyme inhibiting products, and re-using the enzyme over longer times leading to higher product yields and productivities and a more economical process.


Fertilisation & Environment Technological Network

Contact : Sylvie RECOUS


The RMT Fertilisation & Environnement focuses on the development of methods and tools for the management of biogeochemical cycles of mineral elements and the reasoning of fertilisation in agriculture, making it possible to reconcile production, product quality and environmental protection objectives. More specifically, its objectives are: 1) to develop and/or improve three diagnostic and decision-making software packages (AzoFert, RégiFert and Syst'N tools); 2) to explore new fields of action; 3) to lead, communicate, transfer and train on these topics.


Understanding of  RettInG on Hemp fIbers key properTies leading to retting criteria a definition as a main indicator for future certification LABel

Contact : Bernard KUREK


The main objective of RIGHTLAB is to propose a decision support tool, via the determination of reliable and relevant indicators, of a level of retting of hemp straws and fibres in order to open up to these fibres the technical markets requiring an irreproachable quality (ADEME Funding).