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Inauguration of the GENEPI platform

Published on 8 September 2016

CEA Liten inaugurates its technological platform dedicated to the preparation and gasification of biomass and waste in Grenoble

After three years of work, the GENEPI platform is operational. Its mission is to contribute to the development of innovative and efficient value chains based on the preparation and gasification of biomass and waste resources for the production of liquid or gaseous biofuels. Halfway between the laboratory and demonstration scales, it offers unique research tools in France and Europe. It was inaugurated on September 8, 2016 in the presence of ANR, Mines-Albi and CIRAD, as well as a numerous industrial, academic and institutional players.

Winner of the Program of Investments for the Future (PIA) call for proposals, the GENEPI project, led by CEA Liten, has obtained the support of the French Government and the ANR (French National Research Agency) to develop an R&D platform dedicated to the development of innovative and efficient biomass and waste-to-energy value chains.

Implemented on the CEA site in Grenoble, the GENEPI platform includes all the necessary equipment to test the various stages of preparation and thermo-chemical conversion of biomass and waste resources into syngas, including characterization of resources, grinding, drying, torrefaction, powder preparation and pressurized injection, as well as gasification in an entrained flow reactor. The GENEPI pilots offer unique characteristics in terms of flow, temperature and pressure (up to 1500°C and 30 bar for the gasifier), making the platform unique in France and Europe.

At the outlet of the gasification reactor, the syngas produced can be converted into 2G biomethane (or synthetic natural gas), a liquid biofuel or biomolecule after an additional upgrading step (as methanation, chemical synthesis, organic fermentation, etc.). Products obtained from grinding, drying or torrefaction can also serve as solid biofuels or biomaterials to replace, entirely or partially, fossil fuels (petroleum, coal).

The platform is designed to provide to the French industry the necessary means to develop competitive and flexible processes that can handle a variety of resources. Several large-scale operations are already on going, especially on pretreatment and gasification of refused derived fuels (RDF) and torrefaction of forest and agricultural resources. Open to other collaborations with academic and industrial actors, the platform gives the opportunity to test ideas of technological development, to carry out experimental campaigns on different resources, to run collaborative projects within the framework of national and international programs.

For now dedicated to the treatment of wood, agricultural and food residues, the GENEPI platform will be able to test the recovery of non-hazardous waste such as municipal wastes, Refused Derived Fuels (RDF) or tires from 2017.

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