Category Archives: France

Second European Biomethane Conference

On 20 June 2016 the second European Biomethane Conference had been organized by the German Energy Agency dena. The conference was well attended (about 130 participants) and covered a wide range of topics relevant in the biomethane sector. Representatives from the German Federal Ministries for Economy and Environment as well as representatives from energy and biogas operations, biogas associations, consulting agencies, certification organisations and research centres helped to get an extensive overview of the current developments, challenges and expected changes in this sector.
A summary of the workshop can be found here.

French team to drive a biomethane vehicle at Le Mans 2017

The renowned Le Mans 24-hour race for 2017 will have a new entry in the experimental category, in the form of a liquefied biomethane powered hybrid vehicle. (more…)

Read more ...

Producing bioLNG and CO2 with biogas from sewage sludge

The inauguration of the BioGNVAL demonstrator on the Valenton plant

Read more ...

Carrefour chooses biomethane for the city

Carrefour will replace diesel with biomethane for trucks delivering at night in big cities. Some of the gas will be produced with biomass from the shops.

For ten years, the Carrefour group has tested most vehicle configurations that reduced the environmental footprint of its urban deliveries, notably through duClub Demeter Environment and Logistics.

Jean-Philippe Mazet, Transportation Director of Carrefour France, announced during a demonstration of delivery organized November 2, 2015 by the Club Demeter Carrefour Market in Maubeuge street in Paris that:  In five cities (Lille, Paris, Lyon, Bordeaux, Marseille), “Night deliveries will be gradually carried out by vehicles labelled Piek which are certified vehicle engines running on biogas,”. A dozen vehicles of this type are already circulating today; fifty will be commissioned in early 2016 and within three years, all 250 city’s stores will be receiving deliveries from 200 vehicles running on biogas

 Fifty carriers involved

Jean-Philippe Mazet insists that it is no longer an experiment but an operational deployment which will embark fifty recipients with whom longer contracts will be concluded in order to take into account the depreciation period for new hardware.

The Transport Director of Carrefour France considers that with a lower cost of use, despite the higher cost of fuel, equipment will be amortized over a period of 5 years under the same conditions as a Diesel vehicle. Except … Carrefour will help produce some of this fuel by delivering organic waste from its stores to biogas plants as part of a network that today tends to be expanding in France.

The balance sheet of provision of biomass / gas production will not be fully balanced, but Jean-Philippe Mazet explains that experimentation in Lille has demonstrated that 3 hypermarkets have been delivered integrally with the gas from their own waste.

The Vehicle configuration will continue to evolve

The vehicle’s autonomy (350 km to 400 km) is now sufficient to support the activity of a 19 t vehicle (GVW) for one day, says the Transport Director of Carrefour France, noting that manufacturers believe they can arrive fast enough to an autonomy of 700 km to 800 km in between two fill-ups.

Excluding the choice of biogas, the vehicle configuration delivering the brand stores still needs to evolve. The vehicle used for the demonstration in Paris was delivering fresh products. This was a carrier from Transport Perrenot, which had a van that was under a controlled temperature and cooled by an expansion group of liquid nitrogen, therefore without using a thermal engine. However, Jean-Philippe Mazet explains that this choice is not final. Other technical solutions are considered like the use of a device allowing using the truck engine, for the cooling unit, which is quieter.

Of course the other elements of the environmental impact cannot be forgotten. According to Jean-Philippe Mazet, one truck running on biogas saves 100 tons of CO² per year

The Carrefour group seeks to lower the noise level of its urban deliveries in order to better negotiate with municipalities to implement new stores within the city centre. This is indeed a strategic issue for most retailers, since the land available for retail space in city centres is becoming more scarce and competition for access is fierce.

Carrefour today aims at a qualification “Certibruit” for all its urban delivery chain (shops and transport system). This label, provided by Cemafroid based on PIEK standard, is now an essential viaticum to convince cities to accept deliveries at night (between 22 pm and 7 am).With regards to the Crossroads transport plan, this guides the whole environmental approach concerning in particular the decrease in the emission of greenhouse gases and fine particles.

Survey: what will the mix of biomethane of France be in 2030?

In 2030, 10% of the gas that will be consumed in France will come from renewable energy. How will this target be achieved in the legislation on energy transition for green growth?

The Biomethane that is now circulating in the gas networks comes only from anaerobic digestion, but other technologies are on track: the gasification of lignocellulosic biomass, such as wood and straw, and the production of renewable gas from algae. “Currently, six biogas plants are connected to the network and the industry should take off in 2017-2018” predicts Anthony Mazzenga, strategic delegate of the GrDF network. This view is judged optimistic by other industry players. “Today, the sector of biogas is on hold, with current projects facing economic hardship, shares Sébastien Couzy, expert in biogas for the Renewable Energy Association. I think the injection projects will be lower than expected. “To revive the sector, stakeholders believe they would need to raise subsidies. In addition, they await the arrival of units better suited for diverse inputs.

A coveted and expensive resource

Gasification being less technologically advanced than anaerobic digestion is nevertheless considered very promising. This technology is being developed in the laboratory. Manufacturers, like the French Leroux and Lotz Technologies and the Belgian Xylowatt already sell gasifiers. A pre-industrial pilot is under construction in Saint-Fons (Rhône) as part of the Gaya project, coordinated by Engie. The site will run until 2019, which will acquire a significant experience for industrial exploitation. “We may consider industrial projects between 2020 and 2025. In 2030, France could count ten to twenty industrial plants” projected Olivier Guerrini, project coordinator of Gaya. But the industry may face a lack of resources. “Wood is coveted and is a costly resource. The number of gasification plants fuelled by wood may be very limited, “states Isabelle Maillot, head of Bioresources research program at the CEA Liten laboratory. To remedy this, Engie considers it necessary to streamline the network of operating timber. “This is fundamental work that takes time and in this context, we have taken these shares in forestry exploitation, “says Olivier Guerrini.

The administrative simplification

“With the wood deposit being difficult to mobilize and certain waste being poorly valued to date, such as the deconstruction of wood and tires, we then work on gasification of waste. This is an interesting sector for sites that do not have incinerators coupled to a heat network, but there are still technical bolts, “explains Isabelle Maillot. The emergence of this technology is also related to the structuring of a French chain of solid fuel recovery (CSR).Just like the gasification of waste, the production of renewable gas from algae is still in the R & D stage. However, the main obstacle remains the access to the resource. Seaweed farming is still too expensive for mass culture. Many other sectors would be interested in their use, for example for animal feeding. Biomethane produced from the resulting biomass would be considered a co-product that would improve the environmental impact and would lower the cost of production. However, the amount of gas injected into the network will still be negligible even in 2030.

GrDF expects a decrease in consumption, which would then go from 400 to 350 TWh / year. While the injection of biomethane only accounts for 0.2 TWh / year, the manager sees this volume rising to 30 TW by 2030, to which, 5 TWh from gasification will be added. These assumptions nevertheless rely on a voluntarist scenario of development of biogas. “The 10% target is realistic if we are given the means, for example by working on administrative simplification and the reviewing of the buying rates,” said Claire Ingremeau, project manager from the biogas Club. 


Login Form