• Diaporama

    Siñal Exhibition

      May 29-30, 2018 The meeting place for the Bioeconomy  

    The sectors in which they have been used most frequently are the construction industry, new plastics, composites, packaging.

    A whole range of non-food applications of agricultural resources is represented by the extraction of various molecules and active ingredients.

    When we use the term ‘bioenergy’, biofuels come to mind. However, bioenergy is not limited to this application.

2017 Edition - Key numbers


The new challenges for Sustainable Development are global. The solutions that agricultural resources can provide through their non-food applications go beyond the boundaries of a single country or even a single continent.

To be a cross-cutting and multi-sector trade fair

Offering the entire range of non-food applications of agricultural resources under one roof. The aim and added value of SIÑAL EXHIBITION, International Non-Food Trade Fair, is to present under one roof the entire range of new non-food applications for agricultural resources, covering all sectors.

Led by Cités en Champagne, in partnership with the IAR cluster, SIÑAL EXHIBITION brings together the industrial, institutional and major regional economic stakeholders. It aims to serve as a showcase for new non-food outlets for agricultural producers.

To become the benchmark “RENEWABLE” trade fair

«From field to field»

After sustainability and recycling, we have now entered the renewable age and begun to progress towards zero-carbon-emission solutions.

There is a market for the new applications of agricultural resources, servicing the new industrial requirements, which guarantee future economic development, and this goes beyond the “biorefinery” transformation process. These “green gold” agricultural resources are crops whose non-food applications help reduce the greenhouse effect, conserving the environment for future generations.

Each component of the plant is extracted or separated and, if necessary, functionalised, using different mechanical, chemical or biological processes. The value of the resulting non-food and food fractions, intermediary agri-industrial products and intermediaries in organic synthesis, is generally in inverse proportion to their volume. These fractions are then used directly or formulated to suit the end-users’ requirements. Any waste products are then used in the form of biofuels.

Biomass is derived from recently living organisms. It includes biodegradable residues from agriculture – from both plant and animal sources – from the forestry sector and related industries as well as biodegradable industrial and household waste.

Where does biomass come from ?

The main sources of biomass are:

  • Agriculture,
  • Forests,
  • Marine and other aquatic environments,
  • Green waste,
  • Industries and human activities that use living and recently dead biological material.


What can biomass be used for?

Biomass has traditionally been used as a source of fuel and for industrial production. With the current rise in petrol prices, the use of biomass as a raw material in chemistry and as a fuel, common in the 19th and at the beginning of the 20th century, is regaining popularity.

Traditional or innovative biomaterial:
Wood and its derivatives, hemp and other plants that can be used to made textiles, are increasingly being utilised as insulating materials and even added to composite concrete. Starch from cereals or potatoes is employed to make biodegradable plastics and many other polymers.

Raw materials in chemistry:
Surfactants, solvents, bitumen solvents, inks, paints, resins, binding agents, lubricants, antifreeze products, active ingredients and essential oils used in pharmaceutics and cosmetics.

Rapeseed, sunflower, soyabean and palm oils are the basic raw materials used to make biodiesel. The so-called ‘second generation’ biofuels are derived from the cellulose found in a wide variety of non-food crops such as straw and wood.

Biofuel to produce heat and electricity:
Wood in the form of logs, chips, bark, salvage timber, granules or briquettes. Straw and crop residues.
Other sources such as grape marc, fruit kernels, waste from paper factories (black liquor, sludge), waste from local authorities etc. are used to produce biogas, which is created by the anaerobic fermentation of waste.

At some point, all of us have made, make or will make the following observations :

  • The world population is expanding and getting older.
  • Its food and energy consumption is increasing extremely rapidly.
  • Fossil fuel resources such as gas and petrol are running out.
  • The productive agricultural area per inhabitant is declining on a global scale.
  • Global warming is continuing, destroying the environment and having a negative impact on human activities.
  • The development of biomass applications constitutes one of the most important means chosen by the European Union and France of controlling the consumption of non-renewable resources and of fighting climate change.

Progress in this area allows for:

  • The exploitation of France’s exceptional agricultural and forestry potential.
  • The creation of opportunities by offering new outlets for these essential fields, whilst encouraging sustainable activities and creating jobs in these areas.
  • The development of alternative solutions for numerous domains in which biomass is being used increasingly frequently: such as fuel, for thermal and electrical energy, in different types of materials, chemistry, fertilisers, soil improvers, etc.

Thus, it demands consistency and synergy between the different types of use, as well as a greater and balanced mobilisation of bioresources, whether they be incidental energy sources (waste products, by-products, co-products), or dedicated energy sources (crops and plantations), so long as they contribute to the sustainable management of agricultural land and forests, and to guaranteeing the supply to pre-existing industries (agri-food, wood-fibre, etc.).

Pivotal challenges

Environmental : contributing to limiting global warming and CO2 production.
The objective is to preserve the air, water, soil and biodiversity. Biomass can constitute a “carbon sink” and form a sustainable resource, which is not released back into the atmosphere.

Economic : a reliable, valuable resource.
The rise in petrol prices offers a new perspective to industries that were not sufficiently profitable in the context of low petrol prices. The areas in which biomass can be used are particularly affected by this.

Geopolitical : a contribution to energy independence.
The dominant energy sources : petrol, gas, uranium and, to a lesser degree, coal, come from limited deposits, often located in potentially unstable geographical areas. France’s own biomass production cannot guarantee the country’s energy independence, but it can make a significant contribution.

Land management employment, local and rural development.
France is a country in which agriculture and forestry play an important role, so they need to adapt to the opening up of markets. Where biomass is a commodity that is sold by the tonne at low prices, the best economic and ecological results are obtained if the material is utilised close to where it is produced.

Constraints to be managed

The possible future competition between “food” and “energy”.
The increase in the importance of the non-food applications of plant biomass will be seen in the impact on the flow of, and the amount of land given over to, agricultural products.

The immediate competition between the multiple uses of wood.

Areas to develop or consolidate : mobilisation and logistics.
Certain types of biomass application are traditional and well structured. They have been able to adapt quite quickly to increases in demand or to the diversification of the applications (oleaginous, cereal and beetroot production industries). The situation is harder for other uses such as those in the forestry-wood sector.

A new industrial principle is emerging, based on the use of biomass feedstock - the biofefinery. In order to be economically viable and to fit into the perspective of sustainable development, this concept must fulfil two conditions:

  • Production costs (including raw materials, processes, and positive and negative externalities) must be sufficiently attractive and competitive.
  • The products and procedures must be eco-friendly – on a local and global level – without generating additional waste. The biorefinery concept allows for the entire plant to be used in the transformation processes and the production of plant-based resources, adopting an integrated approach and linking the stakeholders of the market.

Under this approach, each component of the plant is extracted or separated and, if necessary, functionalised, using different mechanical, chemical or biological processes. The value of the resulting non-food and food fractions, intermediary agri-industrial products and intermediaries in organic synthesis intermediaries is generally in inverse proportion to their volume. These fractions are then used directly or formulated to suit the end-users’ requirements. Any waste products are then used in the form of biofuels.

The alternative to petrol has arrived, it is an inexhaustible and renewable resource: biomass, in other words the entire plant. Like petrol, plants are made up of countless molecules, which can be refined: each component of the plant can be extracted and functionalised to produce green fuel, building and packaging materials, household products, beauty creams, etc.

These true or ‘green’ agricultural resources thus become the foundations of a new concept, the bioeconomy : bioenergy, agricultural materials, biomolecules, foodstuffs.

The aim is to group together within a radius of a few square kilometres – in an area where agricultural resources are produced – a biofuel factory, a biotech operator, an ingredients manufacturer, a pilot straw fractionation unit, and a co-generation factory that transforms the co-products of these units into heat or electricity. The by-products from one centre thus become the raw materials for the others.

Eco-responsible event

SIÑAL EXHIBITION aims to promote the values of sustainable development by establishing environmental objectives within its organisation, thus focusing on being an eco-responsible event.

The organisers are committed to this process: SIÑAL EXHIBITION exhibitors and visitors are invited to join them.

Champagne-Ardennes, in association with the neighbouring region, Picardy, is famous for being a very fertile agricultural area on a European and global scale, and for its arable crops in particular (cereals, oleaginous, beetroot).

Agricultural production adapts and diversifies to meet the challenges of sustainable development. Faced with the programmed disappearance of fossil-based resources, the application of agricultural resources has become a major challenge for our future. These new non-food outlets also correspond to the urgent need to limit the production of greenhouse gases.

Industries thus develop around new markets and also to replace other products.


The stakeholders

In order to meet these new challenges, major players in the early days of the food processing industry used cooperative and industrial means. However, after several years, they diversified towards non-food replacement applications and new markets such as biofuels, white biotechnology and green chemistry, as well as new materials (packaging, insulation and construction, etc.).

An internationally-oriented competitive cluster

The goal of the Pôle de Compétitivité “Industries et Agro-Ressources” (IAR) [“Industries and Agricultural Resources” Competitive Cluster] is to be the European point of reference for the industrial use of agricultural resources by 2015. It aims to unite stakeholders in research, teaching and industry within Champagne-Ardennes and Picardy around a common theme : the non-food applications of plant resources.

Four areas for strategic action have thus been identified and grouped together under the biorefinery concept:

  • Bioenergy
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomolecules
  • Foodstuffs

The aim and the strategy of this ‘Industries and Agricultural Resources’ cluster are to combine the competencies and technologies for the extraction, transformation and formulation of biomass components, in order to complete all the stages – from the laboratory to industrial development – of an innovative project that forms part of the overall perspective of sustainable development.

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Sponsors et Supports

  • Prefet Grand Est
  • Iar
  • La Marne
  • Cci Grand Est
  • Cci Marne en Champagne
  • Agricultures Territoires
  • Chalons En Champagne
  • Innovation Champagne Ardenne
  • Formule Verte

With the financial support of:

  • Chalons Agglo
  • Financeur1
  • Financeur2
  • Grand Est

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