Biogas is a gas resulting from the anaerobic transformation of organic raw materials, mainly green waste, household waste, agricultural, agri-food or industrial waste and is therefore a 100% renewable energy source. Once purified, the biogas becomes biomethane.
ENGIE is actively working to promote this energy and is positioned throughout the entire value chain of the biomethane sector: from project development, in close collaboration with farmers, to sales to end customers.
A 100% renewable gas
Produced from organic materials, biomethane is a clean energy that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and improves air quality.
It has properties similar to natural gas and can be used as heating, electricity and fuel.
Energy efficiency and waste reduction
Biogas allows the recovery of waste and the reduction of the use of chemical fertilizers: methanization makes it possible to transform 95% of waste into fertilizers, with a beneficial effect on the soil. This also reduces CO2 emissions related to the manufacture of chemical fertilizers (1 kg of chemical fertilizer generates 7 kg of CO2 emissions).
A natural process on an industrial scale
Various processes make it possible to produce and use biomethane on an industrial scale and make it an efficient and innovative energy to complete the energy mix.
The three biomethane production processes:
There are three generations of biomethane production, differentiated by the organic matter used and the transformation process.
- First-generation biomethane produced by decomposition comes from the anaerobic decomposition of organic waste, which is the result of the natural breakdown of organic matter. This raw or slightly pre-treated gas is called biogas, and can be used locally to produce electricity, heat, or both in a combined-cycle process. After further purification, the biogas becomes biomethane, 100% renewable energy of the same quality as natural gas, which can be used in vehicles or injected into the natural gas network. ENGIE has developed two biomethane industrialization projects in France:
- The injection of first-generation biomethane into the natural gas network in Lille.
- The use of biomethane fuel in vehicles in Forbach.
- Second-generation biomethane is produced by gasification from ligno-cellulosic biomass (wood and straw), using a "thermochemical conversion" process. This process is carried out in two stages:
- Firstly, the biomass is converted into synthetic gas.
- This synthetic gas is then transformed into biomethane by catalytic synthesis.
ENGIE is developing this technology, and it should be available by 2017.
- Third-generation biomethane comes from the direct transformation of micro-algae cultivated in high-yield photosynthetic reactors using natural light, water and minerals, while recycling CO2. This is an emerging technology due to be developed on an industrial scale by 2020-2030.
ENGIE and biomethane
ENGIE is actively involved in the development and recovery of this energy, capitalizing on its technical and industrial expertise as well as its ability to manage the entire gas chain.
For ENGIE, biomethane is an energy of the future that will play an essential role in Europe's energy mix. Non-polluting and locally produced, it supports the energy transition. ENGIE therefore offers biomethane to the market, and is involved at every stage in its production right through to its transportation and marketing.
At a time when the energy landscape is looking less carbon-intensive, natural gas is positioned in...
Developing green gases in France: €800 million will be mobilized in the next five years in France. The objective is, in accordance with the law, to inject at least 10% of green gas into the networks by 2030.
Biogas for private individuals: ENGIE has invested 13% in Homebiogas, a pioneering company in the development of home-based biogas. This start-up has developed a small digester, adapted to the needs of families: 2kg of waste can produce up to 2 hours of gas per day.
- Read the article of Martin Jahan de Lestang, Managing Director of Gas Chain Metier: “ENGIE is committed to industrialize biogas and biomethane and makes it competitive for customers”
- The "Biogas Club" site of the Technical Energy and Environment Association (ATEE - Association Technique Energie Environnement) (only in French)
- The projet GAYA (only in French)