University of Limerick
Gaffey_2023_Synergetic.pdf (7.28 MB)

Synergetic benefits for a pig farm and local bioeconomy development from extended green biorefinery value chains

Download (7.28 MB)
journal contribution
posted on 2023-07-03, 10:41 authored by James GaffeyJames Gaffey, Cathal O'Donovan, Declan Murphy, Tracey O'Connor, David Walsh, Luis Alejandro Vergara, Kwame Donkor, Lalitha Gottumukkala, Sybrandus Koopmans, Enda Buckley, Kevin O'ConnorKevin O'Connor, John P.M. Sanders

As the global population rises, agriculture and industry are under increasing pressure to become more sustainable in meeting this growing demand, while minimizing impacts on global emissions, land use change, and biodiversity. The development of efficient and symbiotic local bioeconomies can help to respond to this challenge by using land, resources, and side streams in efficient ways tailored to the needs of different regions. Green biorefineries offer a unique opportunity for regions with abundant grasslands to use this primary resource more sustainably, providing feed for cows, while also generating feed for monogastric animals, along with the co-production of biomaterials and energy. The current study investigates the impact of a green biorefinery co-product, leaf protein concentrate (LPC), for input to a pig farm, assessing its impact on pig diets, and the extended impact on the bioenergy performance of the pig farm. The study found that LPC replaced soya bean meal at a 50% displacement rate, with pigs showing positive performance in intake and weight gain. Based on laboratory analysis, the resulting pig slurry demonstrated a higher biogas content and 26% higher biomethane potential compared with the control slurry. The findings demonstrate some of the local synergies between agricultural sectors that can be achieved through extended green biorefinery development, and the benefits for local bioeconomy actors. 


Creating a carbon neutral resilient dairy farm

Science Foundation Ireland

Find out more...



Sustainability 15(11), 8692



Department or School

  • School of Engineering

Usage metrics

    University of Limerick


    Ref. manager