Since 1944, the French company Labat Assainissement Vidange has handled waste for both private residents, restaurants and the food industry. The company has now improved its waste handling so that the waste is reused for the production of green energy and fertiliser. This is being done in collaboration with the local co-operative society, Maïs Adour.
It all started in 1944 with the purchase of a tanker to use on the farm. Since then, three generations of the farming Labat family from the town of Aire sur l'Adour in south-western France have developed a dynamic company that empties septic tanks and collects fat and other organic waste from restaurants, canteens and the local food industry.
In collaboration with the co-operative Maïs Adour, Labat Assinissement Vidange has taken one major step forward in the treatment of waste, which is now transformed into biogas and green fertiliser for local farms.
This takes place at the biogas plant Adour Méthanisation, which treats 21,000 tonnes of organic material every year. The plant has been supplied by Xergi.
Waste transformed into energy and fertiliser
"The purpose of the project is to generate value from waste, which Labat Assainissement Vidange and their partners already collect from the local area. With the biogas plant, the company has created a new source of income for the company, while Adour Méthanisation contributes with green energy and a reduction in the emission of greenhouse gases," explains Guillaume Loir, country manager in Xergi's French subsidiary.
The biogas is used as an energy source in a gas engine, which produces electricity and heat. The electricity is distributed via the local power grid, while the heat is used partly as process heat at the biogas plant, and partly to dry certain waste fractions in order to optimise the reuse.
When the organic material is digested it is suitable both as fertiliser as well as for improving soil quality, in that the residual product helps to increase the soil's content of both nutrients and humus.
Biogas can help France with its waste handling
Guillaume Loir believes that biogas could be vital to creating better waste handling and reuse in France.
"The biogas technology is a modern technology that can effectively aid the treatment of organic waste, so we use the energy content to produce green energy while at the same time recirculating nutrients into agricultural soil. Significant amounts of organic waste are produced every year in France, which can be treated in a biogas plant, so there is no doubt that potential is great in this area," says Guillaume Loir.