New ways of recovering wine-growing waste in the Savoyard territory

[News flash]


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Since the end of December 2017, a prefectoral decree has prohibited the open burning of agricultural waste, including that from wine-growing activities, in order to reduce the sources of fine particle emissions on Savoyard territory (an area subject to numerous episodes of fine particle pollution in winter). However, in the vineyards of the Pays de Savoie located on hillsides and therefore difficult to access, the annual cut wood is traditionally burnt on site as it is pruned during the winter period. Savoie also has a strong activity of wine nurseries (70% of French vines are produced there) which also eliminate their wood waste by burning.





The VITIVALO project was therefore launched by theUniversité Savoie Mont Blanc in spring 2017, in order to develop new channels for the recovery of winegrowing waste, sustainable and in a context of circular economy, by involving many professional, institutional, public, academic and associative partners in the territory.
The VITIVALO project is developingtwo mai researchn, complementary aspects of : (1) limiting the environmental impact of the wine industry on air quality and (2) developing new local channels for the recovery of wine waste through its chemical and thermal recovery, in the form of materials, etc. The VITIVALO project is also working on the development of new local channels for the recycling of wine waste.


The VITIVALO project concerns all wood-type waste from viticulture and wine nurseries. A recent study carried out within the framework of the project made it possible to list the quantities available in the Savoyard territories, but also to inventory all the practices of the professionals. Today, this production of wood-type waste is estimated at almost 30,000 m3 per year.



When burning wood waste in the open air, the quantities of fine particles and toxic pollutants emitted will depend on several factors: the type of waste (vine shoots, stumps, grape varieties), the moisture content of the waste, the weather conditions during the practice and the techniques used to carry out the burning. These aspects remain very little known in the scientific literature. There is therefore a real lack of data on emission factors and an inventory of practices on the territories of the Pays de Savoie. Based on the sampling methods already used at the LCME and in partnership with winegrowing professionals and Atmo Auvergne Rhône-Alpes, field measurements will be carried out to identify and quantify fine particles and the main toxic and hazardous compounds emitted during open-air burning of winegrowing waste according to several parameters.

The innovation of the project is based on the implementation of recovery cascades, of which chemical recovery will be the initial stage. Indeed, wine waste is an important and renewable source of molecules with high added value, such as powerful antioxidants and probably strong mediators of biological effects (anti-inflammatory drugs, potential treatment of Alzheimer's disease, etc.) that are of interest to the chemical industry today. The extraction of these molecules from wine waste aims to recover and create a potential for economic exploitation of this waste for local companies. Molecules of interest for the cosmetics field will be targeted as a priority, but other molecules may be identified during the extraction and analysis phases. Technologically, these extraction processes will be innovative and will be based on green chemistry methods, which are more eco-compatible. The various recovery scenarios will take into account the environmental impact of the processes put in place and will be evaluated through Life Cycle Analyses (LCA) and compared to open burning, material recovery and/or boiler incineration.



The VITIVALO project is led by theUniversité Savoie Mont BlancThe project is led by two professors from the Laboratory of Molecular Chemistry and Environment of theUFR Sciences et Montagne: Christine PIOT and Grégory CHATEL. Their role concerns the coordination of the project (link between the partners, working group animation, internal and external communication, expertise, etc.) and the research of funding to set up the studies necessary to achieve the objectives. They are also scientific experts in the fields of air quality (chemical measurements and characterisation) and the chemical recovery of waste (production of high added value molecules via environmentally acceptable processes).
The project is then organised in four working groups in which each partner can contribute, from the idea stage to the implementation of concrete or financed actions:

  • AIR Group
  • GISEMENT Group
  • VALO Group
  • COMM Group



Like any project at research, the VITIVALO project needs funds to achieve its objectives. Financial support was quickly obtained thanks to the dynamism of the consortium set up:

  • PhD thesis co-financed by ADEME and the Savoie Mont Blanc Council, on the chemical recovery of wine waste (100000 €, November 2017- November 2020)
  • Student project on the inventory of waste and practices on the territory financed by local partners (Communauté de Communes Cœur de Savoie, Syndicat des Vins de Savoie, Syndicat des Pépiniéristes Viticoles de Savoie, the GDA Cœur de Savoie and the Chambre d'Agriculture Savoie Mont Blanc; 4800 €, September 2017- June 2018)
  • Mountain PAA, internal toUniversité Savoie Mont Blanc on air quality (9000 €, January 2018-December 2018)
  • USMB Foundation for laboratory equipment (€60,000 in 2018, renewable in 2019)
  • Crédit Agricole des Savoie for communication (3000 € for 2018-2020).
  • CSMB of 26,000€ in 2019 for the section on the measurement of atmospheric emissions during the open burning of wine wood waste.
  • The industrial composting study carried out in 2019 on the Grand Chambéry platform operated by SUEZ: financing and provision of the platform by Grand Chambéry; operational implementation of the study by SUEZ Organique
  • The study of soil amendment with wood waste from vineyards using the Bois Raméal Fragmented technique: financed by the commune of La Motte Servolex, the Union of Wine Nurseries and the Coeur de Savoie Community of Communes; hosting of the study on a communal plot of land in La Motte Servolex.

Other requests for funds are in progress.

Since 6 June 2018, citizens and companies can also finance research in the framework of the VITIVALO project via the Foundation's donation platform Université Savoie Mont Blanc. These donations are tax-deductible.

the project partners

The originality of the VITIVALO project lies in the fact thatUniversité Savoie Mont Blanc is the project leader, thus allowing all the actors concerned to be brought to the table through coordination and a "neutral" and "scientific" approach by the University.

After several exchanges, many partners participated in a first brainstorming meeting on 6 June 2017.

Exactly one year later, on 6 June 2018, the VITIVALO project held its official launch event at the Presidency of theUniversité Savoie Mont Blanc in Chambéry.

Partners of research

Wine professionals

  • Syndicat régional des Vins de Savoie
  • Union of Savoy Wine Nursery Growers
  • The French Institute of Vine and Wine

Numerous winegrowers and wine-growing nurseries are also participating in the experiments, on an individual basis, within the framework of the VITIVALO project.


State, Territorial, Environment, Agriculture and Industry Services


  • Savoyard Association for the Development of Renewable Energies (ASDER)
  • Association of Organic Agriculture in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (ADABio, Savoie branch)
  • Association Santé Environnement en Combes de Savoie



You wish to participate in the project

You are a professional, an elected official, a company, an association, a citizen, and you are interested in participating logistically or experimentally in the VITIVALO project?

Thank you to contact the project leaders by email:


you wish to finance the project

A collaborative financing platform is available on the Foundation's website Université Savoie Mont Blanc, via the link below. Whether you are a citizen or a company, your donation to support the VITIVALO project is tax deductible.





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