With the FARBIO project, 4D PIONEERS continues its quest for a more responsible and sustainable economic era through the use of additive manufacturing for biomethane production.
4D PIONEERS and the UCCS laboratory, supported by the Hauts de France region, have decided to combine their know-how to improve the profitability of biogas production units by designing a new generation of structured, modular and compact catalytic reactors manufactured by 3D printing.
Interview with Ingrid Florentin, co-founder and president of 4D Pioneers.
What interested you in this project?
Since our creation, my partner Nicolas Gay and I have been interested in the energy sector, which is undergoing major changes. It is also an area of expertise for Nicolas.
The recent geopolitical situation, with the war in Ukraine and the resulting surge in gas prices, has clearly accelerated the need for France and Europe to quickly review their energy strategy, with the development of biogas as an alternative to Russian gas imports.
Biomethane still needs to be produced more efficiently and at more competitive prices.
We were thinking about this, when the UCCS laboratory arrived providentially with the FARBIO project!
Tell us about your relationship with UCCS?
4D Pioneers is a spin-off of Centrale Lille Institute. This scientific anchorage is very important for our company because it allows us to collaborate with different laboratories, a scientific emulation essential to remain at the highest technological level.
Our collaboration allows us to combine different areas of expertise (chemistry, catalysis, materials formulation and additive manufacturing) and to leverage the skills and know-how of our two entities to develop the most effective solution.
What are the ecological objectives of this project?
This project is fascinating because of its potential ecological impact, as methanization has many environmental advantages.
It allows for the recovery of organic matter (which reduces the quantity of organic waste to be treated by other means), but also for the production of energy. In this context, it contributes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by allowing the replacement of fossil fuels by biogas for the production of heat, electricity or fuel.
Its controlled production and use also avoids uncontrolled emissions of methane into the atmosphere, a greenhouse gas with a warming potential 28 times greater than CO2 over 100 years according to the IPCC.
Finally, the use of digestate (residue not transformed into biogas) avoids the use of chemical mineral fertilizers, which require fossil resources to manufacture.
What more could you ask for!
What are the next steps?
The project will take 18 months to complete with a start date of December 1, 2022. So it's tomorrow!
In order not to lose time, we have recruited Maxence Renaux in September to join our R&D Materials team. Maxence is a young PhD specialized in inorganic materials, who has just completed his thesis on the subject "Contribution to the modeling of alumina sintering by microwave heating".
Many meetings are already fixed with the team of the UCCS and our first deliverable will be the choice of a metallic material answering the specifications (thermal conductivity, printability, machinability and post thermal and/or chemical treatment).
We are in the urgency of the first deliverables and first successes, it is again a beautiful collaborative story which begins!