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France : Limagrain and Dalkia inaugurate Europe's first steam generator to be fueled by corncobs.

Limagrain and Dalkia today inaugurated Europe's first steam generator to be fueled by corncobs. The contract awarded to Dalkia includes the design-build and 10-year operation of a 3.5 metric ton per hour biomass heating plant, the main fuel for which is corncobs. The cobs are residue from the primary processing of corn grown on the Limagne plains by the members of the Limagrain farming cooperative.

By transforming into energy almost 4,000 metric tons a year of corncobs resulting from its seed production process, Limagrain will considerably limit its Auvergne-based Limagrain Cereales

Ingredients subsidiary's use of gas, and reduce its carbon footprint by over 2,600 metric tons of CO2 a year. This enables Limagrain Cereales Ingredients to master the energy costs of its corn flour and intermediate products production process.

The project represents an investment of 2.4 million euros for Limagrain. Help with funding Worth 960,000 euros came from several sources: Feder, the renewable heat fund of ADEME, France's

Environment and Energy Management Agency; the Auvergne Regional Council; and the Puy-de-Dome Departmental Council.

Several experiments were needed to assess the feasibility of this European prototype. Veolia Environnement's R&D teams, in partnership with the Compte-R boiler manufacturer, worked together until they had full control over the combustion cycle of this new energy source and its environmental impact. Corncobs have a heat value twice that of forest residue and have very specific fusibility characteristics. Produced over a period of about two months after the corn is harvested in September and October, the cobs will be stored on site.

Limagrain is formalizing its Corporate Social Responsibility approach and continuing to innovate with the aim of eventually operating in "full cycle". A study is under way on the possibility of spreading the ash from the combustion of the corncobs.

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Jun 29, 2013
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