Expanding the alternative use and circularity potential of crops (EXPECT)

Start Date:


End Date:


Funding Body:

Teagasc Walsh Scholarship


Dr. Susanne Barth, Teagasc

Project Partners:

CEEES (UCC), Teagasc

Principal Investigators:

Dr. Susanne Barth, Dr. David Wall, Dr. Richard O’Shea, Dr. Maeve Henchion, Dr. Fiona Thorne

Project Manager:

Ewen Mullins, Teagasc

Research Area:

Biorefinery, circular economy, bio-based economy


The EXPECT project aims to expand the alternative uses and circularity potential of crops in Ireland by putting them through cascading use in a biorefinery approach. It will achieve this by a holistic consideration of socio-political, technical and economic aspects involved. Grass, being the most important crop in Ireland, is the primary focus in the project. A two-stage anaerobic digestion technology producing valuable biochemicals (VFAs) and biogas in a demand-driven manner will be validated. The Delphi method will be used to identify the potential value chains, and socio-political enablers and barriers involved in grass-based biorefining. This will be followed by bio-economic modelling and techno-economic assessment to investigate the feasibility of biorefineries at a range of scales. Using this multi-disciplinary approach, a framework for green biorefinery development in Ireland will be co-designed.


To co-design a framework for the development of green biorefineries in Ireland.

Work Packages

  1. Experimental trials for the production of VFAs and biogas using a novel two-stage reactor
  2. Techno-economic analysis of grass biorefineries at a range of scales
  3. Farm-level Economic Assessment of alternative feedstock solutions for green biorefineries in Ireland
  4. Co-designing a development pathway for green biorefineries in Ireland using the Delphi study approach