The Biorefinery Glas project will host a KT-approved field demonstration at Shinagh Estates farm in Bandon, Co Cork, next Thursday.

The project is trialling a small-scale biorefinery to extract the valuable constituents of grass and create opportunities for farmers to diversify incomes.

Roy Raedts, a mechanical engineer from the Netherlands, is overseeing the day-to-day running of the biorefinery.

An extruder is used to separate grass as it comes into the machine.

This uses a heating process and a centrifuge to split the grass into fibre and liquid.

The fibre is solid and is called press cake. It resembles haylage and is wrapped up like a standard silage bale.

Liquid product

The grass juice is a liquid product and contains a lot of protein.

When dried, it can be up to about 90% dry matter.

However, a lot of pig feeding is done with wet feed in Ireland, so drying can be adjusted to the final users' requirements.

From the remaining residue, different types of filtration techniques result in a high-value sugar product and the remaining residue can either be spread as a fertiliser or used in anaerobic digesters.

IT Tralee, Carbery group, Barryroe Co-op, UCD and Wageningen University in the Netherlands are all involved in this European Innovation Partnership project funded through the Department of Agriculture.

Practical information

Tours will start at 11am and 2pm on Thursday 11 July. Find out more and book a free ticket here.

Read more in the next issue of the Irish Farmers Journal.

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