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Publication Title | Government/Municipal Revico Wastewater Treatment Plant

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Revico Wastewater Treatment Plant

Cognac, the lavish spirit noted for its double-distillation process and high position on the social ladder, is only labeled “Cognac” if produced in the stunning Cognac region of France. For 300 years, producers of the ne spirit have boasted that the region’s stable climate, green hills, nearby ocean, and meandering Charente River described by Henri IV as “the loveliest in my kingdom” contribute to Cognac’s exquisite taste.

While these astounding microclimate characteristics remain today, distillation of this ne brandy produces millions of gallons of vinasse, a foul-smelling, sludge-like amber liquid rich in organic materials. Until a few decades ago, the vinasse simply was spread across surrounding land, which harmed wildlife and seeped into nearby rivers.

As concern about the pollution created by vinasse began to escalate, Cognac producers in the region knew they had to take action to stem the ow of the ef uent.

In 1971, several distilleries joined to create Revico, a wastewater treatment plant that collects the vinasse, removes harmful substances, and releases clean water into nearby waterways. To dispose of the 300 million liters of vinasse produced each year by 140 distilleries, Revico installed four 5,000-cubic-meter (176,573-cubic-feet) anaerobic digesters that break down the waste matter. Water from the

material is separated from the sludge, treated, and released.

During the process to break down the vinasse sludge, bacteria in the digesters produce signi cant amounts of methane biogas. Rather

At a glance


Cognac, France


November 2009


Digester gas – methane


• A C800 Power Package with a heat recovery module (HRM) used in a combined heat and power (CHP) application.

• Four 5,000-cubic-meter (176,573-cubic- feet) anaerobic digesters.


• C800 CHP Power Package produces 3,000MW-hours (MWh) of electricity and 4,000MWh of thermal energy.

• Thermal energy heats 4 anaerobic digesters that breakdown the vinasse waste material.

• Thermal energy also warms the city of Cognac’s large greenhouse.

• Energy ef ciency exceeds 80%.

• Energy generated is sold to utility Électricité

de France (EDF).

• Electricity sales to EDF generate

€400,000–€500,000 per year.

Image | Government/Municipal Revico Wastewater Treatment Plant

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