Biorefinery Glas project

Project concluded


Biorefinery Glas is a European Innovation Partnership (EIP) Operational Group funded by Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine under the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020.  Led by the Institute of Technology, Tralee, Biorefinery Glas has a total of 5 partners including the Barryroe Co-operative, the Carbery Group, GRASSA B.V. and University College Dublin. Biorefinery Glas is a first demonstration of small-scale biorefinery in Ireland, supporting development of new business models and farmer diversification into the circular bioeconomy. Biorefinery Glas is a first step towards changing the role of farmers in the bioeconomy, from suppliers of biomass to producers of finished and semi-finished products.


Biorefinery Glas aims to improve the sustainability, value and resource efficiency of Ireland’s livestock sector through farmer diversification into the bioeconomy. The project will demonstrate a replicable small-scale biorefinery with farmers in the West Cork Region. Through biorefining, perennial ryegrass is fractionated into a variety of new products in a process which improves the protein efficiency, value and sustainability of our grasslands.


The biorefinery approach converts freshly harvested grass into a range of products, including; an optimised cattle feed fibre, a non-GMO protein concentrate feed for monogastrics, a high-value sugar stream of fructo-oligosaccharides and a grass whey for fertiliser or bioenergy applications. The project targets a 40% increase in usable protein per hectare. The project also expects to achieve a 25% reduction in nitrogen emissions in cattle excrement, with additional emissions savings through displacement of soybean feed imports with a grass-based monogastric feed. The project also demonstrates and evaluates an innovative business model for farm diversification into the circular economy and supports farmers with a range of knowledge exchange and dissemination activities. The experiences of participating farmers will be documented through our Digital Storytelling Initiative for the Bioeconomy.

Contacts:  James Gaffey: