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Wastewater to liquid biofuel

Published by , Senior Editor
LNG Industry,

At the Valenton plant (Val-de-Marne), BelaIde Bedreddine, the President of the inter-departmental syndicate for the sanitation of the Paris conurbation (SIAAP) with the administrators and Jean-Louis Chaussade, CEO of SUEZ, recently presented BioGNVAL, an innovative technology that transforms a part of the wastewater in the Paris region into liquid biofuel.

Valenton's plant is one of the largest water treatments plants in Europe, dealing with the wastewater produced every day by almost 9 million inhabitants in the Paris region.

The BioGNVAL industrial demonstrator is the first of its kind in France to reuse the biogas from the treatment of wastewater as liquid biofuel (bioLNG), a renewable energy that is easy to store and transport.

This innovation is made possible by the cryogenic process developed by Cryo Pur that purifies the biogas by separating its components - methane and CO2 - to produce biomethane, which is then transformed into liquid biofuel.

A local innovation with international ambitions

With the support of the 'Investissements for the Future' Programme organised by the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME), the SIAPP and SUEZ, which operates the Valenton plant, launched the project in February 2013 to demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility of producing liquid methane gas from biogas, with a view to developing the process on an international scale.

The BioGNVAL project has now demonstrated that a clean fuel can be produced from wastewater.

The BioGNVAL industrial demonstrator can treat almost 120 Nm3/h of biogas, to produce 1 tpd of bioLNG, or two full tanks for a heavy goods vehicle. Tests have shown that the wastewater produced by 100 000 inhabitants could produce enough bioLNG to fuel 20 buses or 20 trucks.

BioLNG has numerous applications, because the liquefaction process reduces its volume by a factor of 600, making it easy to store and transport.

The production and distribution of bioLNG as an alternative to fossil fuels therefore continues the drive to develop renewable energies that is encouraged by French, European and global authorities.

Belaïde Bedreddine, President of the SIAAP, declared: “In my opinion, this biogas from our wastewater treatment plants represents a concrete contribution by the regions to the joint effort to the energy transition. Indeed, this innovative offer is in line with our industrial strategy by a medium and long term. It is a technological solution that can be duplicated with the environmental benefits of an economic fuel, sustainable, easy to store and safe for public health.”

Jean-Louis Chaussade, CEO of SUEZ stated: “We are proud of this innovation, made possible by the collaboration with the SIAAP and our partners, that will make our regions more attractive and help to combat climate change. This successful example of the circular economy and local reuse circuits opens up new prospects, both for local authorities and industrials that want to fully engage in the energy transition.”

Edited from press release by

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