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French company invests 18 million to turn hemp into biofuel



Photo: DR | Qairos Energies

A Qairos Energies will invest 18,8 million euros in a plant for the pyrogenesis of hemp grown in the Sarthe region, in northwest France, to produce non-polluting biofuel. The technology is an alternative to electrolysis and will produce green methane and hydrogen, the company announced in Press release.

Pyrogasification is a new technology used to transform the energy contained in biomass into electricity and/or heat through the hot conversion of complex organic molecules into simpler molecules, using the physical-chemical transformation process called pyrolysis.

Qairos Energies, a French startup based in the Sarthe region, aims to use agricultural biomass from hemp to produce methane and hydrogen. The investment in this sustainable technology is around 18,8 million euros and will serve to build and launch a facility that will use local hemp to make fuel for buses and trains, making France the main distributor of natural gas.

Some of the members of Qairos in the presentation of the project to the Press.

The project is being financed by the investment bank BpiFrance and the French region of Pays de la Loire, according to the French newspaper The echoes. Qairos is also getting help from the multinational consultancy KPMG, according to the HempToday.

Qairos Deputy CEO Kevin Collet, I told HempToday that introducing hemp into the production chain for pyrogasification – an industrial process in which organic material is turned into gas, CO2 and heat – is an innovative step for the energy industry.

Qairos Energies plans to start construction of the unit in the first quarter of 2021 and start marketing its natural gas at the end of 2022, having obtained a construction permit and the right to supply synthetic methane to the French power grid. The new facility will be located in Trangé, near Le Mans, in northwestern France, and will use hemp produced within a 35 kilometer radius by members of the agricultural cooperative. Loué Fermiers.


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