Jean-Marie Ernst, a farmer from Aubel, has decided to build a biomethanation plant on his property in order to use his animals' manure to produce his own electricity. Mr. Ernst’s concept, which is well thought out in terms of circular economy, and which requires an investment of 2.2 million euros, is a first in Wallonia, says François-Xavier Geubel, CEO of Anatis, a company specialising in this type of project, confirming information from the Verviers edition of La Meuse.
The project, which took two years of planning, is subject to a public inquiry opened on November 10th and to end on November 24th. The method offers several advantages, including true energy self-sufficiency and a drastic reduction in problems related to waste storage, says Mr. Geubel.
Jean-Marie Ernst’s farm, with its 600 animals, mostly dairy cows and 25,000 chicks, produces 15,000 tons of dung annually. The biomethanation plant will cut that figure in half and reduce the fumes coming from it by 80%.
The project involves the construction of a warehouse which would consist of two 16-metre-wide digesters and a 30-metre-wide tank where the digestate would be stored.
The manure would be placed in the digester where it would ferment and produce methane. The methane would activate the gas engines that would power the electricity and heat producing turbine. As for the digestate, once in a solid state, it would be recovered to be used as fertilizer.