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Messer to build CO2-recovery unit at Vertex Bioenergy site in France

| By Mary Bailey

Messer Group GmbH (Bad Soden, Germany) and Vertex Bioenergy, leader in the production of bioethanol in Spain and France, have renewed and intensified their partnership. As part of this agreement, Messer will build and operate a 2nd CO₂ recovery unit at the Vertex Bioenergy site in Lacq, in southwest France, near the Spanish border. Vertex Bioenergy, through its company Bioenergie du Sud-Ouest, S.A, will supply Messer with a total of 130,000 tons of raw CO₂ per year for the two recovery units.

 This new CO₂ recovery unit, which represents an investment of 11.3 million euros, will be fully automated and remotely controlled. It is part of Messer’s long-term strategy to continue to diversify its CO₂ sourcing and to ensure a reliable gas supply. The start-up, scheduled for July 2022, will allow Messer to double its CO₂ production capacities from this site. This project will therefore help the industrial gas company meet the growing needs of its customers in France and support the development of its CO₂ activity in northern Spain. 

At its Lacq site, Vertex Bioenergy produces 235 million liters of bioethanol per year from corn. Bioethanol is a clean, renewable biofuel that replaces the use of gasoline in vehicles. The CO₂ recovered by Messer is a by-product resulting from this manufacture. It is generated during the fermentation stage, which involves converting the sugar from the starch in corn into ethanol by the action of yeasts. This raw gas is then recovered by Messer, then purified, liquefied and analyzed before being reused.