At the breeder of Plélo, soon a green fuel in world premiere

In Plélo, Alain Guillaume, a pioneer in methanation in Brittany, will be the first to produce liquefied biogas in 2023. ©DK

In 1989, in the movie Back to the future, the Doc fills up the tank of his car with garbage, in this case banana peels and a bottom of beer. A futuristic theory, at the time, based on the idea of ​​running vehicles through the gasification of organic waste. Some 30 years later, this technological feat is about to become a reality.

Chez Alain Guillaume

On Wednesday April 13, on the farm of Alain Guillaume, a pig producer at a place called Tombelaine, in Plélo, many of them gathered for this important meeting in the development of biogas production technology.

Indeed, that day, the main players involved in the future of this sector were gathered for the first steering committee of this world first: collecting biogas from small methanization units at breeders, transporting it to stations for recovery in the form of a carbon-free green fuel, biomethane or bioLNG (for liquefied natural gas).

A new concept, based on the principle of the rounds of the slag, and which until now came up against a major obstacle: the liquefaction of biogas. A problem finally solved by a French start-up, Sublime Énergie, present this April 13, with representatives of SDE (Departmental Energy Union), and territories involved in the project: LTC, GPA and Leff


In Plélo, Alain Guillaume, a pioneer in methanation in Brittany, will be the first to produce liquefied biogas in 2023. ©David Kerherve

Sublime Energy

Thanks to its biogas liquefaction technology from methanizers, obtained by cooling, and developed with MINES ParisTech, Sublime Énergie has set itself the objective of democratizing methanation among small and medium-sized farms, family-type, far from gas networks, with, Eventually, a pilot installation in Argoat: in Plélo the methanisation, in Plouagat the service station.

“In a logic of circular economy, our equipment makes possible a new service for the collection, transport, purification and conditioning of biogas, responding to environmental and climatic challenges”.

Bruno Adhémar, co-founder and president of Sublime Énergie

These two strategic sites were chosen for obvious reasons: in Plélo, Alain Guillaume, a pioneer in the field, was the very first in Brittany to have installed an anaerobic digestion center 13 years ago. Former president of the Association of methanizer farmers in France, also has all the necessary perspective on the process as it exists today, with its constraints, its limits.

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Circular economy

As for the future service station in Plouagat, its location is strategic: at the crossroads of many roads, and near Plélo, it is located on the natural gas network, and its opening is scheduled for 2023 for a distribution dedicated to CNG (compressed natural gas), can subsequently be quickly supplemented by a liquefied biogas station.

For Alain Guillaume, the advantages of bioLNG are undeniable, particularly for farmers, in terms of cost and autonomy, which the results of studies will be able to confirm. “In addition, the residues from methanisation become a complete fertilizer, making it possible to dispense with chemical fertilizers made from Russian gas”.

An energy and agricultural sovereignty of the territories viewed favorably by the public authorities, and major players such as ADEM who support the project, according to the farmer from Plélo, who confirms “close discussions with the services of the Ministry of Agriculture, and contacts already made at regional level. »

If for the time being this technology is still in the experimental phase (see box elsewhere), concerning its future, Alain Guillaume is optimistic, “the legislation tends to evolve in the right direction”.

In Plélo, Alain Guillaume, a pioneer in methanation in Brittany, will be the first to produce liquefied biogas in 2023. ©David Kerherve

A real territorial project

For Bruno Adhémar: “It’s a real territorial project, extremely promising, carried out with local authorities, the SDE, the farmers, which goes in the direction of what we wanted from the start”. To know :

“Substitute renewable gases for fossil fuels, develop the circular economy in the territories by promoting all stakeholders, promote scientific research and innovation. »

A respectable ambition given the global economic and geopolitical context:

“Producing carbon-free energy using bacteria, doing without fossil fuels from Russia and Qatar, shale gas from the USA, it’s great. If in addition we can offer our farmers an additional income while allowing them to be players in the energy transition…”

Planning of the implementation study in Plélo: April 2022: steering committee n°1, June 2022: steering committee n°2, September 2022: steering committee n°3, and November 2022: final presentation of the study. Establishment in Plélo planned for 2023.

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