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Busy autumn in Lyon with all eyes on the demonstration site


Prior to the arrival of the pilot unit, the CFPH school as the unit’s host identified several local restaurants interested to supply biowaste for feeding the digester. Two existing restaurants were joined by a thid one – a very famous French culinary institute and school “Paul Bocuse” for whose waste IRSTEA made a characterization in September 2019.

An efficient site preparation was necessary in order to receive properly the digester unit. During Summer and Autumn 2019, the CFPH school took care of installing an electric line, building a plateforme for the digester, which is contained within a 40 feet container and installing storage adaptable tank right next to the container in order to store the liquid part of the digestate.
Meanwhile, Suez received and checked the digester unit and organized the shipment toward Lyon. They also worked on writing a complet instructions and safety manual with the manufacturer.

Pilot is contained within a 40 feet container. Biowaste are taken in with a bin that is mechanically lifted on a sorting out table. Non-appropriate wastes are removed (plastics, forks, …). Then, the unit operator, Refarmers, transfer them into a shredder. The biomass is sent into an hygienisation cycle, a storage tank and pumped in the digester according to instructions given. After digestion, a phase splitter produce a liquid phase of digestate, that is stored outside of the container in a big tank, and a solid phase that is evacuated by the operator thanks to an inox container on wheels. A stirling engine from ITS installed in the container produce hot water and electricity from biogas. Hot water is used for hygienisation and digestion. Solar panel complement the electricity needs. The pilot is installed right next to Refarmers’ greenhouse.

The digester started to run beginning of November. An inoculum was imported from a nearby farm digester. On the 5 November, CFPH, Refarmers and Suez were trained by the manufacturer to operate the digester. They have been through safety, operation and regular maintenance process.

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