Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Growing grass for a green biorefinery – an option for Ireland?

Date:
November 15, 2010
Source:
Teagasc
Summary:
Researchers have been looking into the possible use of grassland biomass for the production of energy and chemicals, or green biorefinery, in Ireland.

The need to reduce atmospheric greenhouse gas emissions and dependency on fossil fuels has been one of the main driving forces towards the use of renewable resources for energy and chemicals.

Related Articles


Researchers at Teagasc, in association with Wageningen University and Research Centre, The Netherlands, have been looking into the possible use of grassland biomass for the production of energy and chemicals, or green biorefinery (GBR), and have detailed their results in an article in TResearch, Teagasc's Science magazine.

"The basic principles of a green biorefinery are similar to an oil refinery but, instead of oil, grass or silage is used as the raw material for the production of a variety of products," explains Dr Padraig O'Kiely, Teagasc Animal & Grassland Research and Innovation Centre. "The development of an Irish green biorefinery industry is coherent with the EU Biofuel Directive and the EU's strategy to develop a 'knowledge-based bio-economy'," says Dr O'Kiely.

The researchers carried out a scoping study based on data and knowledge from the operation of GBRs in Europe and, combined with new Irish data on grass quality, assessed the economic, technical and environmental feasibility of a GBR in an Irish context, which they used to develop a blueprint for a first-generation GBR.

Results from the study suggested that the ideal catchment area for a GBR was 700-800ha depending on biomass availability within the catchment area, and the availability should be in excess of 30 per cent in order to contain transport costs. In terms of suitable locations, Dr O'Kiely said: "In general, the viability of GBR will be highest in areas that have experienced declining livestock numbers and lower farm income, particularly, but not exclusively, areas that support a higher proportion of non-dairy farms. These areas have a higher potential availability of surplus grass biomass. This would mean that the GBR would not have to compete with the traditional agricultural commodities, but rather would provide potential supplementary income to farmers."

Following on from this study, the researchers recently obtained funding from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to carry out further work to investigate the potential of different grass species and red clover to produce biomass either as a fresh crop or as silage; the potential of these species to provide fibre that could be used industrially; and, the potential of these species to produce biomethane in anaerobic digestion systems.

Other partners in this ongoing project are University College Cork (UCC) and Queen's University Belfast (QUB). The group at UCC is developing optimal pilot-scale anaerobic digesters for producing biomethane from grass silage, while the group at QUB is investigating how alternative treatments of the silage immediately prior to anaerobic digestion could improve the biomethane yield.

The article 'Growing grass for a green biorefinery -- an option for Ireland?' by Sinead O'Keeffe, Dr Rogier Schulte, Dr Padraig O'Kiely, Dr Cathal O'Donoghue, Stan Lalor and Professor Paul Struik appears in the Winter 2010 issue of TResearch, Teagasc's Research and Innovation magazine. http://www.teagasc.ie/publications/view_publication.aspx?publicationID=51


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Teagasc. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Teagasc. "Growing grass for a green biorefinery – an option for Ireland?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101115161724.htm>.
Teagasc. (2010, November 15). Growing grass for a green biorefinery – an option for Ireland?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101115161724.htm
Teagasc. "Growing grass for a green biorefinery – an option for Ireland?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101115161724.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Reuters - Entertainment Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) The iconic piano from "Casablanca" and the Cowardly Lion suit from "The Wizard of Oz" fetch millions at auction. Sara Hemrajani reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) Take a stab at this -- stunt video shows a lamb chop's journey from an east London restaurant over 30 kilometers into space. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins