Bioeconomy research project to examine the valorisation potential from available bioresources

UCD and Cré have jointly secured funding for a two-year research project “Agri Bio Circular Economy” (ABC Economy).

The project is kindly co-funded under the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland Research Development & Demonstration Programme with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

The project will be led by Dr Fionnuala Murphy (Assistant Professor) and Dr. Rosanna Kleemann (Post-doctoral Research Fellow) of the School of Biosystems & Food Engineering, UCD.

ABC Economy will develop new sustainable value chains for the bioeconomy in Ireland by maximising value and minimising environmental impacts through cascading biomass to create biobased products and generate energy. Cascading means using biomass for high value products, before creating lower quality / value products, then followed by energy generation. ABC Economy will characterise biomass in each region and assess the potential processes for bioproduct and energy production.

ABC Economy will engage with key stakeholders through project partner, Cré, and project collaborators, Tipperary County Council and Monaghan County Council, to develop sustainable value chains based on available bioresources.

Key stakeholders (primary producer, processors, waste management companies, etc.) will be engaged throughout the project to identify important resources, constraints to valorisation, and potential opportunities. Central to ABC Economy is sustainability analysis to determine synergies and trade-offs between using biomass for energy generation and biobased products.  The project will highlight possibilities to minimise trade-offs by considering the environmental /economic / social impacts.

ABC Economy value chains (bio-based products and energy) will be developed with key stakeholders to ensure their viability and potential uptake. ABC Economy advances beyond research by incorporating life cycle assessment (LCA) along with market analysis and stakeholder engagement in the development of sustainable value chains for the bioeconomy. ABC Economy will be an exemplar for the development of the sustainable regional bioeconomy in Ireland.

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