Agricultural crops contain many components with the potential to contribute to the bio-based economy. In this project, we wanted to use ley grass, which is grown on almost half of Sweden's arable land, for the production of ethanol, bio-oil and biogas at the same time as high-quality products such as proteins, fibers and antioxidants are extracted.
Ley, ie different species of grass and legumes, are today cultivated on almost half of Sweden's arable land. Ley grass has many added values, which makes it interesting from a crop rotation perspective and for biodiversity. In Sweden, forage is an underutilized resource and an interesting ILUC.-free raw material for biorefinery utilization that does not compete with food production. In this project, we wanted to use ley grass for the production of ethanol, bio-oil and biogas while extracting high-quality products such as proteins, fibers and antioxidants. We investigated the effect of variety selection, ensiling and mechanical pressing on the potential for extraction of high value components and biofuel production. We are also studied measures that can be carried out at farm level, to increase the value of the delivered raw material. The project is unique, as it takes a holistic approach to the entire chain with a diversity of technologies and products and combines competencies in agriculture, process technology, economics and environmental evaluation.
The project was carried out in collaboration between RISE and Lantmännen. The work was carried out in work packages containing 1) Design of harvest, supply and pre-treatment, 2) Extraction of high-value components, especially protein, from the liquid fraction after mechanical pressing, 3) Production of ethanol and bio-oil from the solid fraction and 4) Evaluation of costs and climate benefits.
Extraction of protein from ley grass