Opportunities for the refinement of grass – FrieslandCampina

During this project, we investigated whether FrieslandCampina should engage and invest in the refinement of grass. In order to do this we divided the project into different sections. First, we reviewed the availability and properties of grass. Next, the technical possibilities of biorefinement and the products that are produced were defined. After this, possible applications for these products were determined. With this knowledge, we designed three scenarios that represent different approaches to grass refinement. These scenarios were subsequently tested for financial viability with a cost-benefit analysis.

The costs-benefit analysis was executed in an Excel file, which -along with this report- comprises our deliverables to FrieslandCampina. The first scenario entails the refinement of a feed-grade non-functional protein product in a small mobile refinery. In the second scenario, food-grade non-functional protein is produced in a large centralized refinery. The third scenario also uses a large central refinery, but here a pure, food-grade functional protein is produced. The cost-benefit analysis shows that with our conservative assumptions all three scenarios are not financially viable. However, one of the scenarios (scenario 3, in which functional protein is extracted in a central refinery) shows great potential. Small changes in our assumptions lead to a profitable business case. This in contrast to the other two scenarios. The first scenario was not financially viable and there was little room for improvement. The second scenario turned out to be very unprofitable and likewise did not show any room for improvement. For this reason, we recommend FrieslandCampina to further investigate our third scenario, the production of functional protein from grass.

Below one can find the two deliverables that were presented to FrieslandCampina. The first document is the project paper and the second document is an Excel file for the cost-benefit analysis. Both can be downloaded from this website if desired.

Rami Wohl
Koen van de Ven
Babette Paping



1. Opportunities for the refinement of grass

2. CBA grassrefinement_v1.0