Agriculture is recharging its batteries

Posted on 09 September 2015.

The circular economy took pride of place at the Lépine competition in 2015! The “President of the Republic” prize was awarded to the mobile granulator, a machine capable of producing green energy from agricultural waste – at half the cost of oil or gas.

The mobile granulator is a mobile production unit that converts agricultural by-products – for example wood, residue straw from maize, rapeseed and spelt, vine shoots and even fruit pits – into heating pellets. This invention is good news for farmers since it recycles all kinds of agricultural residues found in the fields into a source of fuel for their farms and consequently not only reduces their energy bills but also pressure on the environment. A low cost fuel costing half as much as oil or gas.

The H-énergie mobile granulator was developed by three craftsmen from the Alsace region, all of whom have won the Best Craftsman in France award in their categories: heating for Charles Herrmann, electricity for Phillipe Durrhammer and metalwork for Xavier Rémond. First past the post out of over 600 projects, the Lépine competition winners hope that the award will bring them visibility and allow them to sell their machine in France and all over the world. Canada, Egypt and Australia have already shown interest. Introduced in 1901 by the Prefect of Police Louis Lépine, France’s invention competition has become a springboard for international innovators from all walks of life. No less than fourteen countries were represented this year. The 144th edition honored the circular economy! The second prize was awarded to the German Klaus-Peter Schulz for Pyrum, a thermolysis process which makes it possible to produce oil from worn tires. The third prize was awarded to the French start-up Canibal for a garbage collector that recognizes, compacts and sorts bottles, cups and cans.

Throughout the 20th century, the prestigious Lépine competition recognized innovations that are now part of everyday life - let’s hope "circular" inventions like the mobile granulator will be the hallmark of the 21st century!