Biomass: Produce energy from waste?

When you separate your household waste or you take freshly cut branches from your garden to the dump, you may be contributing to the production of the electricity that powers your home. How do biomass plants use waste to generate energy?

energie-biomasseAlthough the term is little used in everyday language, in reality biomass, in the form of firewood, is the oldest form of energy used by humanity! In fact, depending on the material employed, biomass can be used to generate energy by combustion or by methanisation which produces biogas.

Today, biomass from wood and its derivatives (branches, bark, and sawdust) is augmented by other materials: industrial waste (coffee grounds, grape seeds…), agricultural waste (straw…), and organic material such as sewage sludge and household waste.

How is energy generated in a biomass plant?

A biomass plant functions using the vapour produced by combustion of organic material. The vapour turns a turbine connected to an alternator which generates electricity.
Cogeneration allows the concurrent generation of electricity and heat, by recuperating part of the vapour. More than 45% of the electricity from biomass comes from the combustion of renewable municipal waste!

What does VINCI Energies do for biomass plants?

biomasseVINCI Energies provides different types of expertise for multiple biomass plant projects: In the Somme department the Group is involved in a biomass cogeneration plant, where it manages high voltage power supply (HVA). At Alkmaar in the Netherlands, on behalf of HVC, Actemium was responsible for the plant’s computer engineering, programming, construction, and installation, as well as for training its operators. In the UK, G+H, a VINCI Energies business unit, implemented the thermal and acoustic insulation of the boiler, piping, and channels of the new biomass plant at Blackburn Meadows. The Lagrange business unit also installed wood-chip fuelled heating equipment for the Koerich school group in Luxembourg. In Germany, GA Gruppe completed the distribution network between a biogas plant and multiple villages in the Neckar-Odenwald region as well as the installation of pipes and a distribution network for the Energie-Wende-Garching project in the south of the country (75% geothermal, 25% biomass). In France, Actemium constructed the building and installed the boiler cabling for the biomass heating plant of the city of Angers..

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