Strong performance at French biogas plant

Since the establishment in 2016 the French biogas plant Méthelec has been a great success. A complete production line from Xergi delivers top performance in both preliminary treatment of deep litter as well as heat recovery and stable biogas production at a high level.

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High biogas production, efficient and flexible utilization of many different types of biomass as well as low production costs. Two years after the establishment of the biogas plant Méthelec in the village of Ennezat near Clermont-Ferrand in central France, both operations and finances receive top marks.

"The Méthelec plant is a real success story. In 2016, we delivered a complete Xergi biogas plant, and now we are pleased to announce that it is going really well with the plant," says Guillaume Loir, Xergi's country manager in France.
 
Can act proactively
 
In relation to the operation of the plant, Xergi's SCADA systems are used to monitor and manage operations.
 
"The operations staff at Méthelec are very pleased with the SCADA system, which provides them with good opportunities to continuously optimise operations. The system allows them to identify problems that are about to occur. Thereby, they can act proactively and avoid the problems before they have an impact on operations," says Guillaume Loir. 
 
X-chopper® - high performance, low energy consumption
 
Méthelec is equipped with an X production line consisting of an X-belt®, an X-hopper® and an X-chopper®. The production line ensures a good utilization of deep litter for the biogas production.
 
"The preliminary treatment of deep litter is extremely efficient with an energy consumption of only 4 per cent of the energy that comes from the deep litter. At the same time, we are experiencing a lot of positive side effects from the X-chopper®, namely that we avoid clogging of pipes, pumps, valves and heat exchangers," Guillaume Loir explains.
 
One should also note that Xergi's feeding module Flexfeed® efficiently retains unwanted materials such as sand, stone and any metal objects - which also contributes to stable operations and low production costs.
 
Effective feeding of biomass
 
Flexfeed® is used to mix the various biomasses before they are fed into the digester tank. At the same time, the feeding module is used to heat-treat biomass that requires pasteurisation, and to control the process temperature of the biomass that is pumped into the biogas digester. 
 
The plant is also equipped with a heat exchanger that recirculates heat from the biogas digester to the Flexfeed® module, so that the heating of the biomass takes place with a minimal consumption of energy. 
 
Many types of biomass
 
"The various preliminary treatment technologies and the Flexfeed® module ensure flexible use of many different types of biomass, which improves the plant's ability to maintain sustained high biogas production. Among other things, we have heard from Méthelec that they can receive certain types of biomass that other biogas plants cannot use," says Guillaume Loir.
 
Overall, he believes that the plant is well functioning because it is composed of a number of technologies that Xergi has designed to work together. 
 
"Finally, we have heard from them that they are very pleased with our service, as we react quickly if they need help," Guillaume Loir concludes.
 
Facts : Méthelec
 
Owners :
Farmer Jean-Sébastien Lhospitalier
Groupe LANGA
 
Supplier :
Xergi is a leading European specialist in biogas plants that can handle many types of biomass. The company has built a biogas plant with a total capacity of over 80 MW of power in Europe and USA.
 
Biomass : 
Semi-liquid manure, deep litter and organic waste products from the food industry. 37,000 tonnes annually.
 
Production capacity : 
1.56 MW electricity
Excess heat is used to heat stables and to dry agricultural products
 
Technology :
2 x Gasmax® primary biogas digesters, 1 secondary digester
X-Hopper® for receiving deep litter
X-Chopper® for preliminary treatment of biomass
Flexfeed® for heating, mixing and feeding of biomass
Engine plant for the production of electricity and heat
 
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