Biorefinery Glas – Small-scale Farmer-led Green Biorefineries

Biorefinery Glas is a demonstration of small-scale biorefinery in Ireland, supporting development of new business models and farmer diversification into the circular bioeconomy. 

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Project summary: 

Biorefinery Glas is one the first projects in Europe which looks at the integration of farmers in a value-added bioeconomy value chain. Using a small-scale biorefinery, this EIP-AGRI operational group has demonstrated the production of four new products from grass with farmers in South-west Ireland. It offers a viable solution to meeting key sustainability challenges including protein availability, renewable energy and reduction of GHG emissions in the agricultural sector. As the biorefinery is small-scale and automated, the project is a step towards changing the role of farmers in the bioeconomy, from suppliers of cheap biomass, to producers of value-added products.

Project results: 

Through the Biorefinery Glas approach it is expected to achieve an improvement of approx. 40% in nitrogen use-efficiency, compared with the current situation.
It is also expected to see a significant reduction in nitrogen and phosphorus (N and P) emissions in cattle excrement, along with additional reductions in emissions associated with imported animal feed. 
The new process will improve the resource efficiency of Irish grasslands by producing four products from one feedstock and create diversification opportunities for farmers.