Upcoming Brum biogas conference and expo set to showcase bioLNG
In the United Kingdom (UK), liquefied natural gas (LNG) and its renewable alternative, liquefied biomethane (LBG) – bioLNG, is a fuel that is rapidly gaining traction in the heavy goods and public transport sectors thanks to its superior economic and environmental performance over conventional fossil diesel. BioLNG is also a topic that will be discussed and showcased at the upcoming UK AD & World Biogas event at the NEC in Birmingham.
The UK government has said it will ban the sale of diesel cars from 2040 while UK cities have been ramping efforts to tackle air pollution – Bristol City Mayor Martin Rees announced on June 20 a consultation on proposals to ban diesel cars from the city to tackle air pollution, which is now a bigger killer than tobacco and three times larger than Aids, tuberculosis, and malaria combined.
However, most diesel engines can be converted to run on liquefied natural gas (LNG) or its renewable alternative, liquefied biomethane (LBG). BioLNG is biogas derived from anaerobic digestion (AD) of organic material such as sewage sludge or food waste that has cleaned and upgraded to biomethane (also called green gas or renewable natural gas – RNG) and liquefied.
And whilst a conversion will cost a couple of thousand pounds, it is money that the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) says will be recovered at the pump within 12 to 18 months assuming around 10 000 miles (≈ 16 000 km) thanks to the price differential.
Economical and environmentally beneficial
There are over 20 million LNG cars in the global fleet and, for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), bioLNG is rapidly gaining traction as fuel – as it reduces carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by over 85 percent, nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions by 50-70 percent, and has almost zero particulate matter (PM).
According to ADBA, it has been found that fleet operators who switch to biomethane more than exceed what is required under the benchmark minimum standard for emissions. Fuel savings are notable too. With costs that are typically 33 percent less – and in some instances, as much as 50 percent less – operators can see that biogas makes commercial sense. It means that the filling-station infrastructure is emerging too.
The shift makes economic sense. London and Norwich have been taking the lead on the introduction of what are known either as Low Emissions Zones or Clean Air Zones with another 30 cities and local authorities across the UK set to introduce similar measures. Under these schemes buses and HGVs failing to meet minimum standards face charges for entering the zones of GBP200 (≈ EUR 223) a day. Such zones are commonplace in cities across mainland Europe.
Meanwhile, biomethane as fuel for transport has been boosted by an EU directive requiring Member states to ensure a sufficient number of publicly accessible refuelling points to allow the circulation of natural gas vehicles (NGVs) both in urban and suburban areas and on the TeN-T core network, ideally every 150 km, to be built by end-2025.
Furthermore, the government’s Renewable Fuel Transport Obligation (RFTO) has increased the biofuels volume target, including biomethane, from the current 4.75 percent to 9.75 percent in 2020, and 12.4 percent in 2032.
BioLNG key theme at UK AD & World Biogas Expo
CNHi Industrial will display its IVECO Stralis Natural Power truck and latest FPT Industrial Natural Gas engines, whilst New Holland will showcase its award-winning and innovative Methane-Powered Concept Tractor, combining visionary design with advanced and sustainable biomethane combustion, a key element in the “Energy Independent Farm” concept, which sees farmers producing fuel from waste products.
Alongside the Expo, conference sessions at the Summit will look at the global potential of biomethane in transport fuel and the infrastructure developments. The line-up of eminent speakers include Giulia Catini, Institutional Relations and Representative Office to the EU in Brussels, CNH Industrial, Oscar Baroncelli, Head of Global Product Marketing, Strategy and Digital, FPT Industrial, Jorge Asensio Lopez – Alternative Fuels Business Development and TCO Manager, IVECO, Mike Foster, Chief Executive of the Natural Gas Vehicle Network and Yann Pierre, Commercial Director of Prodeval.