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Laboratory of Environmental Biotechnology

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The LBE

16 July 2018

Laboratory of Biotechnology of the Environment, own research unit of the National Institute of Agronomic Research, located in Narbonne, Occitanie-Montpellier center.
Laboratory of Environmental Biotechnology,  research unit of the Center Occitanie-Montpellier of the National Institute of Agronomic Research (INRA), located in Narbonne.

The research conducted at LBE aims to develop the concept of environmental biorefinery, which consists in treating the by-products of human activities (waste, agricultural residues, effluents) and valorizing them as resources of industrial interest (bioenergies, biomolecules, organic amendment), meanwhile minimizing their environmental and health impact. The LBE is identified as "Knowledge Enabling Technologies (KET) Technology Center" by the European Commission and is part of the Carnot Institute 3BCar, the Montpellier Institute of Water and Environment (IM2E), LabEx Agro, and the I-site Montpellier University of Excellence.

Laboratory of Environmental Biotechnology,  research unit of the Center Occitanie-Montpellier of the National Institute of Agronomic Research (INRA), located in Narbonne.

The LBE is attached, for the scientific part, to the departments Environment and Agronomy (EA) and Microbiology and Food Chain (MICA) as well as to the INRA Center of Montpellier for the administrative part.

Symbolized by the production of bioenergy (eg, via biomethane and biohydrogen by anaerobic ecosystems), the researches of LBE seek to treat and / or valorize the discharges of human activity, be they liquid effluents. (agro-food in particular), solid residues (agricultural residues, household waste and sludge from sewage treatment plants) or specific biomasses such as micro or macro-algae. This valuation is broken down by explicitly integrating health safety constraints (eg, related to the presence of pharmaceutical residues, detergents and / or pathogens ...). His research covers a very wide range of disciplines: microbiology, microbial ecology, biological engineering, process engineering, modeling, automation, life cycle analysis, project engineering and industrial transfer. It is one of the world's leading laboratories in the field of anaerobic digestion. It benefits from an establishment of 4757 m² of surface including 1882 m² of experimental hall, and scientific equipment and analytical performance, with more than 50 digesters (1 liter to several m3) in operation 24/24 and 365 days / year. The LBE relies on a quest for excellence, a plurality of topics addressed, a multidisciplinary approach but also the know-how in terms of technology transfer and innovation (6 patents, 11 licensing contracts, Pollutec in 2007, 2009 and 2010).

Link to the report of the 2014 evaluation of LBE by the AERES.