GrassTools is divided in four workpackages:

WP1: Sustainable and resilient green biomass production for biorefining

WP1 determines yield potentials, biorefining quality, root C investment and nutrient use in known and novel species in pure and mixed stands of perennial grasses, legumes, and forbs, using field and laboratory methods. The investigations will be carried out at both experimental field sites and at demonstration field trials of DSV to broaden the range of species, varieties, soil types and management practices and tools. Yield and botanical composition of harvested biomass will be quantified along with basic characterization of extractable protein contents and specific structural components, which can be used as chemical building blocks for biomaterials. WP1 will produce optimized recommendations for fertilizer applications targeting single nutrients as related to the needs of specific grassland species among other based on the Yara N-sensor, nitrification inhibitors, and AtFarm decision support tool.

WP2: In situ C and N balances, GHG emissions and nitrate leaching

WP2 quantifies and documents the actual climatic and environmental impact of green biomass production for biorefining from perennial grass systems as affected by management and species diversification. Through the use of detailed field studies in WP2 combined with process-based modelling in WP3, we will improve the quantification of C and N storage potentials under perennial grass systems and qualification of expected stability of the soil C.

WP3: Impact of grassland biomass production on national C and N emissions and product footprints

WP3 estimates the effects of converting from arable cereal cropping to grasslands for biorefining on national budgets for C and N emissions, and estimates the carbon footprints of products for different managements of grasslands for biorefining. The novel results from WP1 and WP2 will be incorporated in simulation models (CTOOL, DAISY, FarmAC), and will be used to improve the LCAs of biorefining products by e.g. including soil C storage, while the targeted species diversification may influence biodiversity impact. We establish triple-helix discussions on the new improved estimates of the potential of using grasslands for biorefining. We will discuss how Denmark can meet the national emission reductions, how can improved footprint estimates for endproducts be estimated and acknowledged within an international framework, and how can farmers best implement new knowledge and tools, and what are their incentives?

WP4: Project management and dissemination

WP4 ensures timely completion of the project goals. It oversees administrative and financial management, ensures financial, scientific and technical coordination among project partners, evaluates project progress, coordinates project planning, and address and meets project risks. WP4 coordinates dissemination activities among project partners.