Where the Light Gets In

By DHThomas

Industrial Waste Management

I visited this plant yesterday for work. They process organic waste (from supermarkets, food plants, but also restaurants, clinics and hospitals - just what comes from the kitchens and self service restaurants there, of course! - etc.) to turn it into biogas, which in turn is used to produce electricity that is sold to Electricité de France and put through to the general grid.

Essentially, it is a mechanical cow's stomach... Once the waste has been turned into compost (ie chewed by the cow), it is put in a gigantic vat where it is transformed into gas in two stages (the two pouches in the cow's stomach).

The building you see here is where the engine producing the electricity is situated.

The shame of the thing is, the owner has a contract with EDF to sell them a fixed quantity of electricity per month. If he produces more, he doesn't have the right to use it for himself - he must burn the gas he would have used to produce the surplus electricity !!!

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