Geek Trivia

Albertville, France Generates Electricity With Gas Produced By What Unusual Source?

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Answer: Cheese

The love of cheese is a hallmark of French culture, but there’s a French town that’s gone beyond cheese as a dietary staple and turned it into an energy production staple too. In the town of Albertville, France, a local cheese factory has turned the byproduct of cheese fermentation into energy.

The biogas produced by the fermentation process is a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide. The gas is heated on site and the resulting steam is used to power turbine generators; electricity produced by the generators is then sold to a French utility company (EDF). The cheese factory can produce roughly 2.8 million kilowatt-hours per year, enough to provide for the electrical needs of around 1,500 people. While that’s a far cry from keeping the lights on for the whole town of Albertville (pop. 19,000), if more factories across France adopted the model, then tens of thousands of French homes could be lit by cheese-gas-generated electricity.