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Biofuels and biochemicals
from agricultural residues
and non-food plants

Biorefinery straw ethanol

"Sustainable development" or the careful management of natural resources and greater emphasis on renewable energy has become the catchphrase at the start of the 21st century. In Ireland, as well as elsewhere in the EU agriculture is facing many challenges, one of which is characterised by the overcapacity production of low cost biomass such as grass as animal feedstuff. To cope with this overproduction of green biomass, concepts and technologies for its alternative sustainable utilisation have to be developed. Biorefining is one such technology.

 

It is against this background and these challenges that Biorefinery Ireland Ltd was established in 2004 to continue the R/D began by some of its principals since 2002 under an EC Fifth Framework project entitled "Biochemicals and Energy from the Sustainable Utilisation of Biomass" - BESUB. The immediate objective of Biorefinery Ireland is to design, construct and operate a commercial green biorefinery in Ireland using herbaceous biomass such as grass, immature cereals, legumes and sugar beet as feedstock; and produce energy, biofuels and high value biochemicals with food, feed and industrial applications. The initial objective is to establish a green biorefinery using fresh grass/grass silage.

What Is A Biorefinery?

"a biorefinery” is an overall concept of a processing plant where biomass feedstock is converted and extracted into a spectrum of valuable products. Based on the petrochemical refinery

“biorefining” is to transfer the efficiency and logic of the fossil-based chemistry and material converting industry onto the biomass industry.

Biorefineries are based on petrochemical refinery technology and their development represents a potential key for the integrated production of energy in the form of bio-gas (for the production of electricity) and bio-ethanol (for transportation), plant based protein for food and feed; and high value bio chemicals including bio-based products which are both photo and biodegradable. In essence, a green biorefinery is a processing plant in which herbaceous biomass feedstock is converted (through a biorefining process) into a spectrum of valuable products with near zero CO2 emissions

By focussing on fresh grass and grass silage, this technology will change the current perception of grass as a feed for animals to viewing it as a feedstock for the production of energy and non-food products.In this regard the utilisation of grass in a biorefinery will reduce CO2 emissions as the grass used would otherwise be used as animal feed and in the process lead to the production of green house gases (eg.CO2 and Methane). Accordingly green biorefineries will help to reduce CO2 levels in the environment.

Similarly, the realisation of green biorefineries in tillage areas in Ireland can provide a valuable market for the grass grown (and cut to waste) on set-a-side land in these areas. The grass cut on this set-a-side land is currently cut to waste with the consequent release of CO2 into the atmosphere.

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Biofuels and biochemicals
from agricultural residues
and non-food plants

green bio ethanol from

"a biorefinery” is an overall concept of a processing plant where biomass feedstock is converted and extracted into a spectrum of valuable products.

 

Based on the petrochemical refinery “biorefining” is to transfer the efficiency and logic of the fossil-based chemistry and material converting industry onto the biomass industry.

 

Biorefineries are based on petrochemical refinery technology and their development represents a potential key for the integrated production of energy in the form of bio-gas (for the production of electricity) and bio-ethanol (for transportation), plant based protein for food and feed; and high value bio chemicals including bio-based products which are both photo and biodegradable.

 

In essence, a green biorefinery is a processing plant in which herbaceous biomass feedstock is converted (through a biorefining process) into a spectrum of valuable products with near zero CO2 emissions

By focussing on fresh grass and grass silage, this technology will change the current perception of grass as a feed for animals to viewing it as a feedstock for the production of energy and non-food products.


In this regard the utilisation of grass in a biorefinery will reduce CO2 emissions as the grass used would otherwise be used as animal feed and in the process lead to the production of green house gases (eg.CO2 and Methane). Accordingly green biorefineries will help to reduce CO2 levels in the environment.

 

Similarly, the realisation of green biorefineries in tillage areas in Ireland can provide a valuable market for the grass grown (and cut to waste) on set-a-side land in these areas. The grass cut on this set-a-side land is currently cut to waste with the consequent release of CO2 into the atmosphere.

 

Biorefinery products can include plant-based protein for livestock which is GMO free; ethyl lactate and sparteine derivatives. More conventional products like bio-ethanol, bio-gas and fibres can also be produced.

This synergic approach allows residual matter from the bio-chemical process to be used as low cost fuel pellets and/or bio-gas. The processes are energy intensive. Biomass derived energy has zero CO2 emissions.

bio ethanol production Europe ireland
bio ethanol production Europe ireland

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What is Biorefining?

Contact Biorefinery Ireland

The bio-refinery process is quite flexible in that it has the capacity to process a range of materials interchangeably. It is also flexible in that it can produce a number of different end products depending on what the market requires and can react to price trends quite easily.

The Biorefining Process