What is biomethane?
Gaya, towards a new commercial green gas offer
Experiencing the construction of the technological platform
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The Gaya Project, coordinated by ENGIE, brings together partners from the industrial and research fields, or specialized in the certification and financing of R&D projects. Each partner contributes its expertise to the project.
A world leader in the energy market and the coordinator of the Gaya Project. ENGIE is currently the only operator in France that operates right across the biomethane chain, and has expertise in the production, transmission and recovery of biomethane.
As an expert in optimizing industrial thermal facilities, and in operating co-generation facilities – some of which use biomass – ENGIE also has a wide range of skills in process engineering, fluidized beds, combustion, gasification and NGVs (natural gas vehicles) homed at its Gas and New Energy Research and Innovation Center (CRIGEN), which is running the Gaya project for ENGIE.
This technical expertise is complemented by the Group’s recognized know-how in industrial processes and project management (ISO 9001 certification for project management processes).
Repotec (Renewable Power Technologies Umwelttechnik GmBH) is providing its expertise in gasification and its knowledge of its FICFB (Fast Internal Circulation Fluidized Bed) process to the Gaya Project, as well as feedback from the biomass gasification project in Güssing in Austria. The FICFB process is the one that ENGIE has chosen in the context of the Gaya Project.
Repotec, which was founded in 2001, is a company that specializes in the construction of small and medium-sized biomass power plants, which are intended to produce heat and electricity (co-generation).
The company is involved in many domestic and international projects. It is currently testing the FICFB process, successfully developed on a stand-alone basis at a biomass gasification facility based at Güssing in Austria which has become the European benchmark in terms of biomass gasification.
The UCFF brings together forestry cooperatives and management groups located throughout France. This Association is involved in developing these organizations with a view to improving the defense of the business interests of forest owners, who are its members and founders.
The UCFF acts as a facilitator for this network, as a backer for shared projects, and provides political representation at the level of national and European institutions. The UCFF cooperatives include around 120,000 members, manage 2.2 million hectares, produce 7.5 million cubic meters of wood per year, and generate revenues of €350 million. Thanks to its dual PEFC and ISO 14001 certification, the UCFF is committed to the sustainable management of forests, and to reducing its negative impact on the environment.
LGC, which is partnered by the Paul Sabatier University and the Toulouse Institut National Polytechnique, is contributing its knowledge of fluidized beds, its expertise in researching and modelling pyrolysis and gasification phenomena at the particle level, and its experimental biomass gasification resources.
LGC is the largest research center in Europe, due to the scope of its areas of research and its range of scientific equipment. Within the laboratory, the Divided Solids Treatment and Processing Team has developed significant expertise in the gas fluidization area and its applications over the past 30 years.
The LRGP is contributing its expertise in modelling biomass pyrolysis to the Gaya Project. This contributes to simulating and extrapolating the gasification stage. LRGP is also involved in the technical and financial assessment of pre-treatment processes (crushing, drying, granulation and pyrolysis). These processes will enable an improvement in the gasification & methanation facility’s energy-efficiency and environmental performance under certain conditions.
Within LRGP (based in Nancy), the GREENER (Génie des REactions pour l’ENvironnement et les Energies Renouvelables) team is developing a multi-level approach to thermo-chemical processes with a view to increasing their selectivity and their energy yield, and reducing their environmental impact. This 15-person team focuses more specifically on the pyrolysis and gasification of lignocellulose biomass (forestry and agricultural waste). By combining an experimental and theoretical approach, it has been a pioneer in the fast pyrolysis and ablative pyrolysis fields. Thanks to support from the Lorraine Region and from the Government, it has a wide range of cutting-edge equipment in this area. To find out more, go to the team’s website.
UCCS is a university research laboratory that has achieved international recognition for its expertise in the catalysis field. Specifically, it has a recognized expertise in various fields that are useful to the Gaya Project, including the conversion of synthesis gas, and setting up a pilot laboratory including catalytic reactors.
UCCS brings together 104 researchers and research professors who partner industrial or institutional projects (CNRS, Maud and Accelera Competitiveness Clusters, Europe, etc.).
The RAPSODEE Center at the Albi-Carmaux Ecole des Mines, which was founded 12 years ago, is contributing its skills and expertise in studying and modelling pyrolysis and gasification phenomena at the molecular level to the Gaya Project.
RAPSODEE is researching the pyrolysis, combustion and gasification processes. The focus of its research is the waste-to-energy recovery of “complex” solid fuels while limiting their emissions. The Center has partnered the European LIFTOFF project with a view to setting up a wood gasification unit in Denmark as part of a co-generation application, and the CNRS Biomasters joint initiative, as well as the French National Research Agency’s CINE-HT Project. It has equipped itself with cutting-edge experimental resources and analytical resources, which enable it to analyze solids.
The CEA is a public body that conducts research on low-carbon energy. It is contributing its expertise in biomass gasification, both from a process and modelling standpoint through its LITEN Institute, which is dedicated to new energy technologies that do not emit any greenhouse gas, and to nanomaterials.
It has developed its expertise in thermo-chemical biomass conversion technologies for fuels since 2000.
CIRAD supports Southern Hemisphere countries and French Overseas Territories via research, training, information, and innovations in the development of farming systems in tropical regions.
It is contributing its knowledge of treating gas and its physical and chemical analysis systems for products resulting from thermo-chemical conversion (especially tar) as part of the Gaya Project.
The Persyst (Performance des systèmes de production et de transformation tropicaux, or Tropical Production and Transformation Systems Performance) Department has acquired expertise in researching thermo-chemical lignocellulose biomass conversion processes. It has also developed innovative and non-polluting technologies in order to meet the energy requirements of Northern and Southern Hemisphere countries.
It has several operational facilities, which were developed as part of European partnerships.
“To ensure the success of the Gaya Project, the consortium was designed in an appropriate manner on the basis of a partnership between operators who have achieved recognition in each of the various key stages for the sector in question. This complementarity enables us to make real progress, both from a technical and scientific standpoint, and also enables us to guarantee the industrial ramp-up of biomethane production by providing us with an opportunity to give form to our research work as part of a large-scale process.”
Jean-Michel Commandré Researcher at the Energy Biomass Unit
The CTP carries out research and development, and consulting and appraisal assignments within the paper industry. It is contributing its expertise on the entire sector, from supplying raw materials to the composition of biomass and its transformation to the Gaya Project.
The CTP has cutting-edge analytical resources and has acquired recognized expertise in studying the industrial incorporation of new technologies into processes, as well as in assessing these technologies’ commercial potential.
The FCBA is an inter-professional organization for the timber industries, which has the status of an Industrial Technical Center. It is providing Gaya with its knowledge of the timber sector, both in terms of assessing biomass stocks and of structuring the sector, where it knows the operators. It is also contributing its knowledge, which it acquired during the various research projects in which it has participated.
FCBA’s researchers, engineers and technicians, who provide services to all the forestry industries, are involved in various European and national research programs, as well as in several competitive clusters that focus on bio-energies. In France, the FCBA is involved in several of the National Renewable Bio-Energy Program’s projects.
The Gaya Project was selected as part of ADEME’s Call for Expressions of Interest in “Second Generation Biofuels”, which was issued by the Demonstration Fund, a fund created by the Grenelle Environmental Round Table that has been entrusted to ADEME. Accordingly, ADEME is providing €19 million in funding to the Gaya Project.
ADEME is a public, industrial and commercial institution, for which three French ministries are responsible:
1 – the Ministry of the Environment, Sustainable Development, and Energy;
2 – the Ministry of Higher Education and Research;
3 – the Ministry of the Economy, Finance and Industry.
ADEME’s remit is to support the implementation of government policies in the environmental, energy and sustainable development fields. It takes part in the funding of projects launched by companies, local authorities, government authorities, and the general public, from the research to the implementation stage.
The aim of the TENERRDIS (Drôme, Isère and Savoie Energy Technology and New Renewable Energy) Competitiveness Cluster is to increase the competitiveness of industrial sectors specializing in new energy technologies in the Rhône-Alpes Region. The Cluster supports the Gaya Project, to which it has issued its proprietary certification.
TENERRDIS promotes partnerships between companies, research and training centers, and institutional players, in order to develop projects that create innovation, business, and jobs. It thereby enables all the participants in the energy sector value chain to cooperate effectively in new energy technology fields, and to seize the opportunities offered by this growing market.
TENERRDIS is structuring and developing six industrial sectors:
• solar power
• energy-efficiency in buildings
• hydrogen and fuel cells
• hydraulic power
• network management and electricity storage
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“The Gaya Project enables us to give form to R&D efforts that were launched over 30 years ago within our team. Aside from this “self-satisfaction” aspect, our team is very conscious of the fact that it is working on a waste-to-energy recovery project that has very ambitious goals, both in terms of industrial innovation and of environmental protection”.
Guillain Mauviel Conference Director