This project will investigate forest biorefinery technologies that are suited for the scale, dispersion, feedstock availability and energy use patterns of Ireland

Project Insights

  • €65,650

    Total Project Costs
  • 2 yr

    Project Duration
  • 2019

    Year Funded

Project Description

Ireland will miss its 2020 targets for renewable energy supply (RES) in the transport (RES-T) and heating (RES-H) sectors, and for overall decarbonisation, and faces challenges to meet 2030 targets. Electrification of these sectors will make some impact in the medium term for passenger/light vehicles, city buses and new-build housing, but will not be able to effectively decarbonise heavy road transport, long-distance bus/rail, marine, aviation, industrial/process heat, or heating requirements for old building stock. For these difficult to decarbonise applications, liquid and gaseous renewable fuels may be the only viable options. First generation biofuels are unsustainable as they use food sources as feedstock. The current state of-the-art uses waste products, of which forestry residues are a major potential resource. Biorefineries are in use in heavily-forested Scandinavian countries to supply a range of high-value bio-products and biofuels, while adhering to the cascading value and circular economy principles. What forest biorefinery technologies are suited to the scale, dispersion, feedstock availability and energy use patterns of Ireland? This project will be the first work to answer this and will provide a report for policy makers on viable technologies, their costs and life cycle environmental impact. Work packages will focus on: (1) biorefinery supply-distribution chain design, (2) techno-economic optimisation of supply chain scenarios, (3) life cycle assessment, and (4) dissemination and communication of results.

Project Details

Total Project Cost: €65,650

Funding Agency: SEAI

Year Funded: 2019

Lead Organisation: National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG)

Rory Monaghan

Lead Researcher