Cryo Collect

Méthabraye, the first French agricultural methanization unit with transported biogas

The Methabraye production site in Savigny with its digester and biofilter, photo by Naskeo

Since April 13, 2018, the methanization unit of SAS Méthabraye located in Savigny-sur-Braye in the Loir-et-Cher has been producing biomethane. In the absence of injection capacity into the natural gas distribution network in the municipality of Savigny-sur-Braye, the project to transport the biomethane was developed. The solution chosen by the Astrade engineering firm is to transport the gas in its liquid form from the biomethane production site to the injection site on the natural gas distribution network.

The solid digestate storage building, photo by Méthabraye

A pioneering site

MéthaBraye represents the culmination of six years of work and the development of an innovative solution. It is also the first injection site in the Loir-et-Cher department and the first site in France to use a gas transport solution. It consists of two sites:

  1. The first site, located in Savigny-sur-Braye, at the center of the 17 farms, is the biogas production site, digestate storage site, biomethane purification site, liquefaction site, and the filling station for the cryogenic shuttle that transports the biomethane to Naveil twice a week. The purification and liquefaction process was provided by Verdemobil in partnership with CryoCollect.
  2. The second site is in Naveil, 15 km from Savigny. It is the injection point into the natural gas distribution network.

The solid input collection truck, photo by Méthabraye

The organic matter deposit is estimated at 30,000 tons/year, including 86% livestock effluents (manure, slurry) and 14% plant resources (plant waste, CIVE silage). Méthabraye will produce 12 GWh/year of green gas, equivalent to heating 1,000 homes or 47 natural gas vehicle buses.

The project of 17 farms

The low-grade gas boiler, photo by Méthabraye

In Savigny-sur-Braye, a commune in the Centre-Val de Loire region, 34 farmers from 17 different farms joined forces to create the company SAS Méthabraye. Their idea: to collectively undertake a methanization project with the valorization of biogas into biomethane and injection into the distribution network. A first in France, as the injection capacity on the network in Savigny-sur-Braye was insufficient, Méthabraye chose to liquefy the biomethane and transport it to an injection point.

Delphine DESCAMPS, president of SAS Méthabraye, explains, “There is indeed a gas network in Savigny, but it did not correspond to our production. Our goal was to match continuous production with discontinuous consumption. It took a lot of time, energy, reflection, responsibility, decisions… Hence the interest of doing this as a group. It also took money. Including studies and land acquisition, the investment is 6.8 million euros. Benefiting from a 20% subsidy from Ademe, the associated farmers contributed their own funds and secured a loan of 5.5 million euros.”

Also, see the video produced by Watts New

Frédéric Douard

10% Increase in Yield at Serres des Trois Moulins with Méthatreil’s BioCO₂

Jean-François Vinet, co-manager and operator of Serres des Trois Moulins, image by VerdeMobil Biogaz

The collaboration between the Méthatreil biomethane plant, located in Machecoul, and the Serres des Trois Moulins greenhouses, located in Saint-Philbert-de-Grand-Lieu in the Loire Atlantique department, dates back to 2020. Méthatreil was then the first installation to valorize bioCO2 in France by supplying the Serres des Trois Moulins. The Brosse Tenaud site spans 13 hectares of greenhouses for cucumbers and tomatoes, and 250 hectares outdoors for lamb’s lettuce, lilies of the valley, and salads. Jean-François Vinet, co-manager and operator, explains in this video that CO2 is essential for greenhouse crop productivity and that it allows for a 10% increase.

The first bioCO2 tank at Serres des Trois Moulins, photo by Frédéric Douard

Méthatreil purifies and liquefies its CO2 through a cold distillation process called Carboliq. To achieve this, it enlisted the help of VerdeMobil Biogaz, which manufactures and markets this innovative process in France, developed by the startup CryoCollect. The process recovers the low-grade gas from the biomethane purification module and, through a series of thermodynamic and physical operations, isolates the CO2 in liquid form.

The second BioCO2 tank at Serres des Trois Moulins, photo by VerdeMobil Biogaz

The CO2 is then stored at the methanation site in two vertical tanks of 60 m³, before being transported once or twice a week by a 20 m³ tanker truck to two 30 m³ relay tanks positioned at the greenhouse site, 15 kilometers from Machecoul. The annual production of CO2 is 1,500 tons, which only meets part of the site’s needs.

Contacts :

  • Serres des Trois Moulins :
  • MéthaTreil : Erwan Bocquier
 / +33 626 737 530 –
  • Purification et liquéfaction CO2 : CryoCollect 
- Haytham Sayah / +33 647 56 28 17 –
 – VerdeMobil Biogaz / +33 647 00 21 92 – –

Frédéric Douard

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