Business Creation

Deltalys: a turnkey solution for biogas filtration

April 22, 2020

[This interview has been conducted by our media partner Construction 21, the collaborative platform dedicated to building and smart city professionals, as part of their “Startup Stories” series]

Both an economic and environmental opportunity, biogas is undeniably a major solution for the energy transition of our country. However, this renewable energy source still faces significant obstacles to its development. This green gas requires an often expensive and complex filtration process to become recoverable. This is where Deltalys comes in. Meet Nicolas Astier, Business Development Manager of Deltalys, to find out more.

 

  1. What does Deltalys offer?

We help biogas producers improve the profitability of their units, thus making the sector more competitive. When the company was founded in 2014, we used our gas quality consulting and expertise activities to quickly identify considerable challenges involved in the biogas filtration stage.

Whether to produce heat or electricity or to inject biomethane into the network, filtering biogas is an essential step for two reasons: technical on the one hand, with equipment that oxidizes in the presence of hydrogen sulphide, and environmental on the other hand, since these gases are then transformed into sulphur dioxide, producing gases and acid rain. This stage is costly, complex and has a very heavy environmental impact compared to conventional solutions that rely on the use of fossil raw materials, such as hard coal, which are generally extracted on the other side of the world.

We have therefore worked on an alternative filtration solution, based on the principles of circular economy. For us, it was a real challenge to develop solutions in line with the biogas industry.

  1. How do you work with biogas producers?

We provide biogas producers with Ecolys, a turnkey solution for filtering their biogas.

We offer mobile filtration systems that can be installed directly at the customer’s site. This “plug & play” system can quickly be implemented at our customers’ sites, with a minimum investment and ease of use.

We also provide monitoring solutions that allow optimal follow-up of filtration solutions and, more broadly, of our customers’ production units.

  1. You mentioned a circular economy solution, how does that work?

Our solutions are effectively based on the use of secondary materials. We identify local material deposits that have properties relevant to our needs. From this “materials library”, we formulate the filtration media at our production site in the Lyon region. We then use these filtration media in the solutions we offer to our customers.

It is a truly responsible approach from an environmental and societal standpoint: we recover secondary material deposits that do not have an obvious or high value-added recovery process and limit the use of fossil raw materials for biogas filtration! We create value and jobs within the country, and support the development of the sector through economic solutions.

  1. Who are your customers?

We began marketing our solutions in early 2018 to industrial players and local authorities. The waste management and reuse sector is historically the largest biogas producer in France, and the biggest filtration issues are found in this sector.

Our activity is now evolving towards the methanisation sector, which represents a growing market in France, with almost a thousand units already in operation. We therefore adapt our offer to meet their specific needs. These are industrial methanisation units, which recover their by-products, or agricultural groups. There is a clear expectation in this sector for regional and local solutions. Our offer is perfectly in line with these values.

We currently operate a dozen filtration units that filter more than 100,000 m3 of biogas per day. This equals more than 10 tonnes of CO2 prevented each day compared to conventional coal-based solutions!

  1. What are your prospects for future development?

Biogas is a major pillar of energy transition, in France and abroad. We now have more than 10 years of cumulative operation on our filtration units and our customers provide very positive feedback.

There is also a strong trend among our customers to favour local, greener, more socially-committed solutions, such as the ones we offer.

We therefore have very good prospects for development in France as well as internationally, starting with the countries bordering France. We also have a strong R&D culture in the company, allowing us to consider developing new solutions for other application sectors with similar approaches based on a circular economy.