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​Interview with Jérémie Miroux, founder and CEO of BioEntech

Other innovations
09/09/2015

Co-laureate of ENGIE’s call for projects in "innovative sensors for biogas plants", BioEnTech is an innovative company that works in in biogas processes and information systems, with expertise in monitoring, supervision and modeling.

Hello Jérémie, can you give us a few works of introduction to BioEnTech?

BioEnTech develops and implements innovative solutions for biogas plants, including MeMo, which is a software monitoring solution, and SNAC, which is a sturdy, simple-to-use sensor that allows us to accurately measure the key biological parameters needed to optimize digester operations.

BioEntech’s added value lies in its expertise in anaerobic biogas production and its ability to translate this expertise into software solutions. These skills meet a growing need for securing and optimizing biogas plant operations. BioEnTech uses its innovations to conduct audits, biological monitoring and operational assistance.

Since its inception, BioEnTech has had the support and assistance of the Narbonne INRA and INRIA, two laboratories that have been internationally recognized for their excellence in the fields of biogas and the modeling of bioprocesses. INRA is where BioEnTech conducts experiments and INRIA assists in new software developments.

What is specific to biogas production in France?

In Germany, biogas production is much more developed than in France, but the facilities are also designed differently. German biogas plants operate for the most part using corn. Their predictable and stable supplies make it possible to produce biogas in a steady way, but it also means that they compete with agricultural land that could be used to produce food.

The French biogas industry is willing to use all types of organic waste, from the agribusiness byproducts to community waste. Heterogeneous supplies can be make it difficult to optimize biogas plants, especially when it comes to large agricultural facilities and collective units, which must constantly renew or replace supply contracts to achieve maximum rations and to operate the digester at its full potential.

To summarize, the main issue with biogas production is controlling inputs, i.e. supplies.

What are BioEnTech’s development priorities?

BioEnTech's skills are based on both the products we have developed and our ability to analyze and model the methanization process according to supply. We want to develop our service offerings in remote surveillance and technical assistance to biogas projects.

To meet the various challenges faced by biogas plant, operators (including manufacturers, sewage treatment plants, or units shared by a group of farms), BioEnTech created MeMo, which is a range of software that can be adapted to the needs of each category. MeMo is already being used in industrial sites, treatment plants and on a farm. The follow-up to the current call for projects will allow us to install equipment on a site and to test the system on a unit producing more than 1 megawatt. We will also be able to test our planning software, called MeMo-Plan. MeMo-Plan is specifically meant for biogas plants that handle a large and variable number of substrates.

It allows us to create responsive simulations that are based on the actual properties of different types of substrates, including the current status of the methanization process. MeMo-Plan will therefore let us us accurately predict the optimal “recipe” of substrates.

Memo-Plan is scheduled for launch in early 2016.

There is clearly compatibility between major corporations and start-ups. Sustainable development is the way of the future. Technically speaking, there are solutions. Now, we all just need to coordinate and move in the same direction. With ENGIE as a partner in this project, we are on the right track.

Source: Christine Leroy