Biomethane still ahead, for greening transport

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The Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) marked Clean Air Day on 20 June by highlighting the important contribution to be made by biogas and biomethane from AD, when it comes to cutting our carbon emissions and greening our transport network.

AD is a natural process that breaks down organic wastes and purpose-grown crops to create a biogas that can then be upgraded to biomethane. Biomethane-fuelled vehicles have dramatically reduced nitrogen-oxide emissions and emit fewer ozone promoters, aldehydes, and non-methane hydrocarbons than Euro VI diesel vehicles, as well as providing particulate-matter-free combustion. Biomethane also offers a 50-80% reduction in carbon emissions compared to diesel, depending on the feedstock used to generate the biogas. Increasing numbers of bus and HGV fleets across the UK and around the world are turning to biomethane as a clean, low-cost fuel. In April last year the world’s largest fleet of biogas double-deck buses became operational in Nottingham.

Commenting, ADBA Chief Executive Charlotte Morton said;

“Given that hydrogen is still a long way from being a reliable option for transport and the difficulties in using electric batteries to power heavy vehicles, over the short to mid-term, biomethane is a technology-ready, cost-effective means of slashing emissions and particulate matter and improving air quality, and is the only practical means of decarbonising HGVs, buses, and other large vehicles.

The UK has close to 100 AD plants already producing biomethane with dozens more being built, and the whole UK AD industry has sufficient capacity today to produce enough biomethane to power 80% of the UK’s entire bus fleet and the potential to produce enough biomethane to power 75% of all HGVs in the UK.”

The role of biomethane as a transport fuel was scheduled to be a key theme at UK AD & World Biogas Expo 2019, the world’s largest tradeshow dedicated solely to AD and biogas, taking place on 3rd and 4th July at the NEC in Birmingham. The expo, which is being organised by ADBA and the World Biogas Association, will feature panel discussions on biomethane in transport, as well as featuring a biomethane powered tractor on the Expo floor.