Cheese by-product fuelled power plant serves 1,500 French residents

20 December 2015 (Last Updated December 20th, 2015 18:30)

France-based Valbio has developed a new power station that generates electricity from skimmed whey, a by-product derived from Beaufort cheese.

cheese power

France-based Valbio has developed a new power station that generates electricity from skimmed whey, a by-product derived from Beaufort cheese.

Located at Albertville in Savoie, France, the plant has been operational since October and serving the power requirements of a local community with 1,500 inhabitants.

The facility has the capacity to produce about 2.8kWh of power annually.

Left-over skimmed whey from the Beaufort production in Albertville is converted into biogas, a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide, through natural fermentation procedure.

The gas is then passed onto an engine that heats water to 90°C to produce power, which is then supplied to energy giant EDF, reports The Telegraph.

Valbio director general François Decker was quoted by the news publication as saying: "Whey is our fuel.

"Valbio had initially built another cheese by-product fuelled power plant prototype ten years ago in the country, which is claimed to be the first of its kind."

"It’s quite simply the same as the ingredient in natural yoghurt."

Valbio had initially built another cheese by-product fuelled power plant prototype ten years ago in the country, which is claimed to be the first of its kind.

Following that, 20 other small-scale plants have been developed in Canada, France and other European countries, with more facilities planned in Australia, Italy, Brazil and Uruguay.

A new 800m² power generation facility has been planned in France by Valbio, for which the Union for the Producers of Beaufort have allocated funds of €5m, reports The Independent.


Image: The facility has the capacity to produce about 2.8kWh of power annually. Photo: courtesy of Suat Eman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.