A power station in Albertville, Savoie is using a by-product of cheese making, skimmed whey, to make electricity.
In operation since July 2015, the factory uses an anaerobic digestion of the effluents in VALBIO METHACORE® technology, which uses two digesters. The biogas recovered by cogeneration (heat recovered from the wheys recovery process), finishes through an aerobic treatment in VALBIO GSBR® technology to produce electricity in reactors.
“Whey is our fuel. It’s quite simply the same as the ingredient in natural yoghurt,” François Decker of Valbio, the company behind the project, explains.
The unit treats 54 million litres of permeate per year and supplies in biogas a cogeneration unit with power of 400 kW electricity.
WHAT IS WHEY?
Whey is the liquid remaining after milk has been curdled and strained. Usually discarded by cheese manufacturers, whey is a by-product of the chess-making process.
Whey is commonly sold as a dietary supplement in protein powders and shakes. Praised for its benefits including its ease in digestion, whey is often referred as a “complete protein” because it has all the essential amino acids that repair our bones, muscles, organs and virtually every body part and tissue.
According to BuiltLean.com, other health benefits of whey are:
Assists in increasing in muscle mass
Assist in cancer treatment
Increase in glutathione levels (your body’s main water-based anti-oxidant)
Decrease in HIV symptoms
Decrease in triglycerides
Decrease in total cholesterol while increasing HDL (good cholesterol)
Increase in immune system function
Increase in power in sports
Decreased recovery time and symptoms of over-training