European Master in Biological and Chemical Engineering for a Sustainable Bioeconomy

Visit of the Versailles Castle and two industrial sites for the end of Semester at AgroParisTech

At the end of May, the Bioceb students present at AgroParisTech for Semester 2 could enjoy the return of nice weather in one of the most emblematic places of France History: the Versailles Castle. Located near Paris, the Castle and its gardens hosted the kings of France and their court between 1682 and 1789, the date of the French Revolution. The day began with a walk in the gardens and a picnic along the canal. The students and the AgroParisTech staff (including the two interculturality teachers) were then welcomed in the Castle for a guided visit of the kings’ private apartments and the famous Hall of Mirrors. This visit was an important moment for the students since they could deepen their knowledge of France’s culture and history. Interculturality and the understanding of other cultures are indeed key aspects of the Bioceb programme.

One week after this nice day at the Versailles Castle, the students were given the opportunity to visit two industrial sites specialized in biomass valorization: Fibres Recherche et Développement (FRD Lab) near Troyes and the Pomacle-Bazancourt biorefinery site near Reims.

FRD is a private innovation company and an engineering platform promoting the emergence and development of innovative applications for agricultural fibres. The company is a key component of the Industries and Bioresources cluster (Pôle IAR), a leading French Bioeconomy Cluster recognised across Europe and internationally and associated partner of the Bioceb programme. FRD is specialized in plant-fibre extraction and applicative implementation activities, from the plant all the way to end applications.

During the visit, the students discovered the diversity of the lignocellulosic raw materials and the way to process them into fibres fitting with materials specifications. The visit offered a springboard towards the Semester 3 in Materials and Biopolymers at Aalto.

Located 15 km from Reims, the Pomacle-Bazancourt biorefinery is considered as one of the most developed examples of biorefinery in Europe. The biorefinery transforms each year around 3 million tons of biomass into various products for food, chemical and cosmetic industries as well as biofuels. The biorefinery hosts two research centers dedicated to the valorization of biomass and agro-resources: CEBB (European Center of Biotechnology) and ARD (Agro-industrie Recherches et Développements). It also hosts various companies such as Cristanol, Air Liquide or Cogecab and an innovation platform, creating multiple synergies between these actors.

Hosted by J.M. Chauvet and H. Katir from CEBB, the students visited the Cristanol bioethanol production plant. At the roof of the wheat mill, they could have a clear panoramic view of the whole biorefinery site and its cultivated surroundings. They could also meet two AgroParisTech classmates currently in internship at Cristanol.

The visit of these two industrial sites was the opportunity for the students to mobilise the knowledge they acquired during the first year of the Bioceb programme. The students will now join the other Bioceb students in Tallinn for the Summer school which will take place from June 28th to July 2nd.

In front of the Versailles Castle
Visit of FRD near Troyes
Visit of FRD near Troyes
Welcoming at CEBB by J.-M. Chauvet and H. Katir
At the roof of the mill of Cristanol wheat bioethanol production line

- Updated June 2021 -