French Power Station Is Fueled by Cheese

Move over, potato battery
Beaufort Cheese

Bacteria is added to skimmed whey, causing it to ferment and form biogas.

The French have found yet another way to use their beloved cheese. Canadian renewable energy company, Valbio, has designed and built a power station fueled by cheese in the French Alps, which produces enough electricity to supply a community of 1,500 inhabitants, according to The Independent.

The town of Albertville, in Savoie, is well-known for Beaufort cheese. The skimmed whey from producing this cheese is now being transformed into a biogas to generate electricity and warm water. Bacteria is added to the whey to produce the biogas, a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide, which is then used to generate electricity, according to The Telegraph.

This process of using the cheese byproduct to generate electricity results in 99 percent usage of all the elements required for producing Beaufort cheese, leaving clean mineral water as the only waste product. François Decker of Valbio says, “Whey is our fuel. It’s quite simply the same as the ingredient in natural yoghurt.”

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The cheese-based power station is not the first, but is one of the largest. Valbio built its first prototype plant of this kind 10 years ago.