In Ireland, along the windy west coast of Ireland a biorefinery on wheels is turning grass into a series of different green products that could give farmers a more diversified source of income. In Ireland, where agriculture accounts for over a third of its emissions, the biorefinery is being trialed as a solution to improve the farming sector’s sustainability. This ready supply of grass provides plenty for the biorefinery to work with, which it separates into a juice and a fiber.
The juice is turned into a dry protein-rich cake that can be absorbed easier by cows so it generates less emissions from their digestion process or from feeding them other feed, like soy beans imported from Brazil. The leftover fiber can be processed into a sustainable alternative to synthetic fertilizer or used as a more efficient supply of fuel for anaerobic digesters, which breaks down the biological material and turns it into natural gas. Both solutions would take another chunk out of Ireland’s agricultural greenhouse gas emissions.