AgriChemWhey first newsletter issue




AGRICHEMWHEY is building a first-of-a-kind, industrial-scale biorefinery to valorise dairy processing by-products into several added-value bio-based materials for growing global markets, such as lactic acid (LA). The project is in the second semester of its first year. This newsletter provides an update of what has been achieved already.

Partners Gather for Kick-Off Meeting

Project partners from across Europe met in Lisheen, Ireland in February to kick off the AGRICHEMWHEY project. A representative from the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking joined the consortium to review the 4-year plan of work. The location of the meeting was at the now retired zinc mining site where the flagship biorefinery will form the fulcrum of the new Irish National Bioeconomy Campus, and where consortium members also enjoyed a typically Irish warm welcome dinner with people from the local community, a dinner made from locally grown produce, and traditional Irish music.

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On March 6th, Bill Morrissey, of Glanbia and the AGRICHEMWHEY coordinator, presented the project at the BIOKET event in Strasbourg, France. This was showcased as a successful BBI project, where Bill outlined the project concept, and the work planned for the next 4 years.

Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, visited Lisheen

On the 9th of April the Minister for Finance visited the Lisheen site to be updated on the AgriChemWhey project and discuss with the coordinator what benefits it will bring to the local and national economy.

Official EU Launch of the AGRICHEMWHEY Project

On the 26th of April the EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan, officially announced the award of €22 million in grant funding from the BBI-JU for the AGRICHEMWHEY project, which is the first of its kind being provided to the dairy industry in the world. Read more

Philippe Mengal, BBI JU Executive Director, Visited the AGRICHEMWHEY Pilot Plan

On the 26th April, before the Official EU Launch of the AGRICHEMWHEY project, Philippe Mengal visited the Pilot Plant facilities together with Nelo Emerencia from BIC and met with Irish Bioeconomy members.

AGRICHEMWHEY Presented at the Future Landscape of Dairy Processing Information Day

On the 23rd of May 2018 in Portlaoise, the AGRICHEMWHEY project was presented alongside the National Bioeconomy Campus by Anthony Fitzgerald of Tipperary County Council. The event was organised by the Dairy Processing Technology Centre to identify themes and areas of research that the DPTC will focus on from 2019 onwards. The contributors to the event included customers, manufacturers, regulators, policy advisors and service providers.

Pilot Plant Construction

Since the project’s kick-off meeting in February, there has been intensive work on the planning, development and construction of the pilot plant at the Lisheen site, which is now complete and operational. The analytical laboratory construction is also complete.

Public Consultation & Local Athletic Club 70th Anniversary Games

On the 1st of June there was an AGRICHEMWHEY Public Consultation night on the proposed multi-product biorefinery in Lisheen. Bill Morrissey, Programme Manager at Glanbia Ireland, gave an informative presentation and the AGRICHEMWHEY team discussed the project with members of the local community. Read more

Partners Gather for Second Consortium Meeting

On 20th June, the AgriChemWhey partners met in Ireland for the project’s second consortium meeting. The meeting was once again held at the Lisheen site in Ireland.


Following the project commencement, there have been several new employees hired to contribute to AGRICHEMWHEY:

  • Hilda Keane, Project Co-ordinator, Glanbia Ireland
  • Pamela Hayden, Technical Manager, Glanbia Ireland
  • Catherine Ryan, Analytical Scientist, Glanbia Ireland
  • Parikshit Sawdekar, Fermentation Scientist, Glanbia Ireland
  • Simon O’Neill, PhD Student, Glanbia Ireland
  • Pierce Meade, Process Operator, Glanbia Ireland
  • Dr. T Sarat Chandra, Research Fellow, School of Physics, Trinity College Dublin

Next Steps Over 6-12 Months

For the remainder of the first year of the project the consortium will optimise fermentation yields with varying feedstock combinations, optimise the downstream process for LA purification, complete planning permission for the industrial scale plant and prepare the associated license application, plan for experimental industrial symbiosis work, plan for the life cycle assessment data collection and continue project communication activities.

Upcoming Bioeconomy Events in 2018

This project has received funding from the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 744310.

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