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Rajas Shinde

Walsh scholar Project Title: Expanding the alternative use and circularity potential of crops (EXPECT)

Overview: Rajas is originally from India and holds a master’s degree in Environmental Technology from Wageningen University, the Netherlands.

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. This will be achieved through 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 and biogas from grass 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.

Green biorefineries have the potential to decarbonize the Irish agricultural system and push for a biobased circular economy in Ireland.

Rajas has a keen interest in resource and energy recovery from waste. He further aims to use this biorefinery approach for other agro-industry residues and municipal solid waste.

Programme Area: Crops, Environment and Land Use Programme

Supervisors: Dr Susanne Barth, Dr Maeve Henchion, Dr Fiona Thorne, Dr Ewen Mullins and Dr David Wall

Location: Environmental Research Institute, UCC, Cork

Funding Source: Teagasc