• CEA LITEN site for GENEPI project

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The LITEN Biomass Technologies Laboratory has been selected as the site for the Euro 5 million GENEPI project. GENEPI has as its goal the creation of a European reference point for intermediate scale R&D equipment aimed at addressing national and international issues related to the production of second generation biofuels through the Biomass-to-Liquid (BtL) process. The facilities, which go on stream at the end of 2014, will be available to the entire European scientific and industrial community.

LITEN (Laboratory for Innovation in New Energy Technologies and Nanomaterials) is an institute of the Technological Research Division of CEA.  Previously the French Atomic Energy Comission, CEA has been known since 2010 as the Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission.  From the perspective of renewables, CEA is active in three areas: solar power, upgrading biomass, and energy storage for transport.

LITEN employs some 1200 people, mainly located at Grenoble.  Amongst these are 45 individuals who work in the Biomass Technologies Laboratory on pre-treatment, gasification and combustion processes, and gas cleaning and purification activities.

Essentially, what is envisaged is an open-access experimental platform, which associates an entrained-flow reactor (EFR) facility (biomass flowrate: 50kg/h), designed to work at elevated pressure (30 bars) and temperature, and a feedstock preparation unit based on torrefaction and grinding.  Certain of the items of equipment are already being housed in a 33m high structure which previously accommodated machinery installed for nuclear activities. 

The experimental results obtained in the platform are expected to validate a modelling and simulation software that is under development in CEA Grenoble.

More information about the GENEPI project can be obtained from CEA LITEN’s Thierry Chataing .

Members of the IFRF Comité Français visited the CEA LITEN facilities during their General meeting in December. 

The photo shows the group at the Torrefaction unit (Biomass flowrate: 150kg/h – Temperature range: 220-320°C)