Michele Marini

PhD Student

Michele Marini

Ph.D. project: Regulatory instruments to support transitions to a circular bioeconomy

University: Aarhus University

Department: Department of Environmental Science

Section: Environmental Microbiology & Biotechnology

Research group: Ecoindustral System Analysis

Supervisor(s): Marianne Thomsen

(Co-supervisor(s): Dario Caro

Project term: 01.09.2018 – 31.08.2021

Master’s degree: MSc in Environmental and Resource Management, specialization in environmental policy and economics, VU University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

BACKGROUND

The development of a bio-based economy is a top priority for the future research and technology promotion in Europe, and a research focus area for Aarhus University. My Ph.D. position is part of the EU-funded H2020 research project DECISIVE (DECentralIzed management Scheme for Innovative Valorization of urban biowastE). The project focuses on the development of sustainable urban organic material fluxes from a linear paradigm to a circular paradigm.

AIM

The aim of the PhD is to investigate, at the societal level, regulatory mechanisms for introducing innovative and health-safe biowaste management and bio-refinery systems in an urban context. A special focus of this PhD is to understand the functioning of existing governance frameworks for organic waste in EU and in national case studies, aiming to introduce innovative decentralized systems such as the DECISIVE system. A relevant scope is also to provide a sustainability assessment of the expected impacts of DECISIVE systems and hereby investigating the key and steering role played by policy and regulatory instruments. I will explore regulatory barriers/enablers for the introduction of emerging biowaste treatment technologies in the local biowaste sector. I will also evaluate the need for alternative policy instruments, economic tools, and governance systems to support the transformation of current systems toward a more sustainable DECISIVE decentralized system. 

RESEARCH OUTLINE

The research outline of the PhD project can be synthesized in four main points:

  1. Model the amount of heavy metals in food intake as a measure of the risk cycle of micro-pollutants and the associated threat to soil health and food safety from existing food production systems.
  2. Investigate the effectiveness of EU regulatory measures to support policies aimed to limit the presence of heavy metals in EU food products and agricultural soils especially due to the application of chemical and organic fertilizers (e.g. food waste-derived).
  3. Explore the EU governance frameworks as well as policy and regulatory barriers/enablers to the introduction of urban agriculture (UA) as an important contributor to local fresh food production from innovative local biowaste valorization systems.
  4. Identify and eventually propose more effective policy or regulatory tools to increase the sustainability (environmental, economic and social) of specific - case-studies - urban agricultural systems.

 

PARTNERS OF COLLABORATION

- DECISIVE consortium

- External research collaborates of Aarhus University

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