The LBE is a world leader R&D center focused in the development of advanced solutions in the fields of anaerobic digestion and environmental biorefinery. The LBE has a 30-year long history of interdisciplinary research in anaerobic digestion with a record as most publishing laboratory in this field (based on the ISI Web of Knowledge bibliometrics).

Our investment in research led to the development of a technology development platform for value creation and collaboration with industrial partners:

  • 8 patents, 11 know-how licences
  • POLLUTEC-ADEME Innovation Award in 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013
  • Hosting of industrial partners (SME and large companies?)
  • 54 jobs currently in activity in industry 


  • Research and development
  • Analytical and feasibility studies expertise, through our business unit ITE, INRA Transfert Environnement

Fields of competencies

  • Waste & wastewater treatment
  • Anaerobic digestion and fermentation (biohydrogen, bio-hythane)
  • Platform molecules
  • Microbial resource management
  • Bioelectro-chemistry
  • Micro-algae valorization
  • Sanitary risk evaluation and control
  • Process modelling and optimisation
  • Instrumentation and control
  • Life cycle assessment and eco-design

State-of-the-art facilities

3500m2 of halls and research laboratories to support innovation projects from proof of concept testing through process demonstration and scale-up (TRL 1 to 6, Fig. 1) and technology transfer by our business unit ITE (lien).

Our capabilities include :

  • Performant scientific equipment and analytical equipment for physic-chemical analysis, CTO dosage…
  • Biomass pretreatment pilots
  • Molecular biology tools
  • More than 50 digesters and fermenters (one liter to 1m3) in operation
  • High BMP (biochemical methane potential) capacity: more than 500/year
  • Down-stream processes

And a multidisciplinary staff with experts from industry and academia/public research

The laboratory puts a great value on international cooperation (in Asia, Europe and America), by welcoming doctoral students, post-docs, or scientists. 

Modification date : 18 July 2023 | Publication date : 23 March 2010 | Redactor : LBE