Gâtinais Biogaz, a territorial methanization project in the Gâtinais involving multiple actors

Gâtinais Biogaz methanization unit (c) Naskéo

Gâtinais Biogaz methanization unit (c) Naskéo

Published by Yannick Régnier on 10/09/2012

At the beginning were 16 livestock farmers and a solid determination to increase the sustainability of farming activities through the promotion of by-products such as manure. Methanization appeared as the most appropriate process. Hence, the 16 livestock farmers decided to launch a feasibility study with Naskeo Environnement in 2008.

The project proved to be solid as it relied on a 64% supply of controlled and profitable agricultural waste receiving license fees for urban and industrial waste processing in the territory. It is a fact that as well as the farms of the canton providing solid and liquid manure, varieties of agricultural waste, the site will have sufficient capacity to handle waste from the food-processing industry as well as urban waste (sludge from wastewater treatment plants, food waste) for the community.

Once the organic matter or biomass has been collected, it will be treated in a digester to produce biogas. The biogas is transformed into energy by cogeneration in the form of heat or electricity. The electricity will be sold through the network, and the heat will be used as fuel in the neighborhood of the site to heat a number of community buildings: the future high school, the gym, and maybe also the new pool.

While waiting for this stage of use of fuel for heating in public infrastructures, the unit built by Naskeo Environnement at Château-Renard in the department of Loiret (45) in 2012 can optimize the fuel produced for heating in a multipurpose drying unit. It must be said that organic matter has been transformed into digestate, a natural deodorized fertilizer similar to compost and immediately dispersible in fields. The characteristics of this organic fertilizer enable a more profitable agronomic result than raw organic fertilizers (liquid and solid manure).

Numerous benefits for the different actors of the territory

At an environmental level, the Gâtinais Biogaz project enables the optimization of azote contained in livestock effluents by reducing the use of mineral fertilizers. It also diminishes the olfactory pollution endured by neighbors and occasioned by the dispersion of livestock effluents. As concerns the carbon footprint, the significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions must be noted, the origins of which are, on the one hand emissions avoided by the substitution of these techniques to other waste treatment industries, and, on the other hand, the emissions avoided by the substitution of the use of fossil energies. The savings in CO2 were evaluated at around 1,700 tons. This new treatment industry is also a local solution for the processing of urban or industrial waste.

Concerning the impact on economy, the project has generated supplementary income for the farmers, besides that of the “conventional" farming activities, by being associated with a sustainable development approach.

Concerning of the beneficiaries of the heat produced, the cogeneration of biogas supplies the community with a local renewable energy source, via the high school, the gym and maybe a new swimming pool, at a lower or equal cost to that of fossil energies. Furthermore, the local waste producers have found a waste treatment industry in their neighborhood at a very competitive price, when compared to the traditional processes (composting, incineration).

Socially speaking, this project has strengthened the bonds between farming activities, local authorities and civil society, by an initiative which enhances the image of farmers involved in local sustainable development.

And to conclude, 1.5 direct full time jobs have been created for the running of this unit, supervision, administration and management of on-call duties, and, indirectly 11 jobs in the partner livestock farms have become permanent.