Our Projects

Value from solid wine waste

Project description and overview:

This project seeks to validate a semi-continuous production process for transforming solid wine waste into high-value compounds. Once the process is validated, the project participants will produce plans for an industry-scale production plant.

The Viridi Innovations ‘waste to value’ technology enables on-site processing of solid wine waste to produce tartaric acid and grape sugar. These are both key ingredients in the global food manufacturing value chain.

Applying this technology to large-scale wine production improves production flexibility (including input cost flexibility), and generates better environmental outcomes.

The project’s scope will consist of two major deliverables:

  1. Designing, constructing and testing a small-scale demonstration plant
  2. Producing plans for an industrial-scale pilot plant

The Viridi technology will have a significant positive impact on Australia’s wine industry, both economically and environmentally:

  • The process is novel, largely autonomous and IP-protected
  • The business model consists of licensing and profit-sharing arrangements, in combination with long-term supply arrangements
  • The process is being advanced by a collaboration between two SMEs, a research institute and a large wine industry partner
  • There is significant scope for export globally, including to major wine production regions in Europe and the Americas.

Viridi’s business model involves partnering with progressive wine producers, such as project participant Accolade Wines, to reduce their key input costs and share the value generated by selling excess product to other customers. The market demand for tartaric acid alone is expected to be US$3.16 billion by 2022.

On conclusion of the project, the project participants will have validated the ‘waste to value’ production process and produced designs for an industrial-scale application.


  • Higher spending on R&D to design, construct and test a small-scale demonstration plant in collaboration with
    Swinburne University
  • Larger patent portfolio
  • Collaboration with Austeng to produce plans for an industrial-scale pilot plant
  • Larger geographical reach by offering the Viridi technology to international wine producers


  • The Viridi process has the potential to unlock more than $600 of value per tonne of solid wine waste
  • The potential gross value – addressing only the top five wine producers in the top five global wine producing
    regions (less than 4% of global wine waste production) – is more than $500 million per annum


  • 10 medium to high skilled jobs

Government Funds: $145,000 | Industry: $145,000 | In-Kind: $48,000

Project Collaborators