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The climate profits from DLF’s bio-refining process

10. August 2020

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DLF Seeds & Science
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The climate profits from DLF’s bio-refining process

At DLF it’s all about doing business the smart way and setting aside the linear mindset. DLF wishes to progress from extracting raw materials for production, consumption and eventually disposal. DLF rethinks research and production, so that products can be reused in subsequent production.

This approach allows you to cut carbon emissions. A report from The Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark shows, that 55 % of the global carbon emissions can be reduced by converting to sustainable energy sources. The remaining 45 % consists of materials, which can be improved through a circular conversion of production and consumption. DLF strives to be a part of this development (The Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark, 2020).

In Denmark, approx. 1.7 million tons of soy protein is imported. However, there is a desire to increase protein production locally and sustainably (University of Copenhagen, 2020). Soy protein production in some sourcing countries, has led to deforestation and as a result, increase in carbon emissions.

For the vast majority of companies, raw materials are a large part of production expenses. An efficient utilization of resources can therefor help greatly in the companies’ ability to be competitive in the future. The main takeaway is cost savings and the opportunity to deliver sustainable solutions, new jobs and to increase export. This means that companies can match the growing population and their demands for sustainability.

DLF’s solution – bio refined protein

Grass, clover grass and alfalfa contains a lot of protein, which traditionally is used as feed for ruminants. By extracting protein from the grass, through the bio-refining process, the grass can be feed for monogastric animals. The concentrated, bio refined grass protein can  be used for feed for pigs and poultry, that are unable to digest grass directly from the field. The less proteinaceous residue can be used for cattle feed. The grass fluids can be included in biogas production. The bio-refining process upcycle, what was originally one product into four. Multiplying one virgin material source, into several,  keeping the material at highest utlity and value.

Investments are currently being made in several grass protein plants in Denmark. For example, DLF, DLG and Danish Agro have joined forces in a project that involves the production of 4,000 tonnes of grass protein / year from 2,000 ha of grasslands in West Jutland.

Great results for the environment and the climate

In Denmark it is estimated, that a transition to a circular economy in 2036 will increase the GDP by up to DKK 45 billion, net exports can be increased by 3-6 %, Denmark’s carbon emissions can be reduced by 3-7 %. Furthermore the use of new raw materials can be halved. The greatest potentials for this development are found in the construction sector and the food sector, this is where DLF enters the stage (Confederation of Danish Industry, 2020).

With DLF's bio refining process and grass protein, we pursue the circular mindset and create not just one product, but several. At the same time, we expect to be able to solve some challenges in agriculture:

First, we will be able to reduce the import of soy protein due to the, now  locally, produced proteins.

Secondly, the added benefit of larger grasslands in agriculture is that we bind more carbon in the soil - and thus CO2, and reduce the leaching of nitrogen to the aquatic environment. This offers great opportunities in relation to the environment and the climate.

[button text="The Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark" url=""][/button] [button text="University of Copenhagen" url=""][/button] [button text="Confederation of Danish Industry" url=""][/button] [button text="Bio Refined Protein - R&D Project" url=""][/button]