Qairos Energies, a French startup, is moving forward with plans to produce energy using hemp biomass. The company, based in Mareil-en-Champagne, will roll out full production in 2022.
The hemp biomass will be farmed within a 35-kilometer radius of the production facility. Kairos will partner with 150 farmers to grow 350 hectares of hemp in the final test run to make sure all facilities are in place. Then the company will move towards its 1,000-hectare goal, making the plant fully operational.
“A small first harvest later this summer will be used for trials to finalize industrialization and development processes,” said Jean Foyer of Qairos.
Once harvested, the biomass will be ground up into a fine powder and superheated. The process will produce hydrogen, methane, and CO2. The hydrogen will be converted into electricity for fuel cells. Those cells will be used to power transportation like buses and trains. The hydrogen will be used close to the facility to keep the expensive costs of transporting hydrogen to a minimum.
The methane will be distributed by Gaz Réseau Distribution France. Working with the exclusive distributor of natural gas in France will help spread its gas throughout the country.