Biogas from food and drink byproducts has 'growing potential' as a HGV fuel

New research shows that biogas generated from food and drink byproducts has growing potential as a low-carbon alternative to diesel in HGVs and other commercial vehicles.

Published this week, the study was performed by Aker Associates for British bioenergy company Clearfleau.

The focus of the report is biomethane generated by anaerobic digestion (AD) for use in the commercial vehicle market. It also looked at its potential use with on-site AD plants at industrial facilities, a sector in which Clearfleau is a major provider.

“The pressure is on both government and business to reduce carbon emissions from transport, which lags behind other sectors in the adoption of renewable fuels. This requires new and innovative solutions,” Andrew Winship, the report’s author, said. “We expect to see growing numbers of food and drink processing companies looking to use this technology, which offers a low-carbon alternative to diesel for fuelling their commercial vehicle fleets. With both suitable vehicles and fuels becoming more available, supported through legislation and tax treatment, biomethane as a low-carbon transport fuel is set to grow substantially.”

Pressure is mounting on companies to find low carbon alternatives to diesel for fuelling their commercial vehicles. Forecast rises in diesel prices are likely to increase this pressure. With electric vehicle technology not available for large HGVs and large commercial vehicles, gas powered vehicles are becoming increasingly popular.

Biomethane is a particularly useful solution for the dairy sector, with vehicles bringing raw milk from local farms to their sites for processing. Clearfleau already offers a circular economy solution for this sector, enabling collection and delivery trucks to be powered by biomethane generated on site from the by-products of making cheese.

“Using process residues to produce biomethane for transport fuel on factory sites is a perfect example of the circular economy in action,” Richard Gueterbock, marketing director of Clearfleau, said. “Clearfleau has a proven track record of delivering our on-site digestion technology for processing residues and byproducts and we’re excited that we can now offer clients an alternative use for the clean biogas they generate. Our report will help to stimulate greater interest from the food industry and other stakeholders.”

According to a press release, the research also argues that more should be done by Government working with industry to stimulate investment and promote the use of cleaner biofuels in the commercial transport sector, including the classification of biomethane as a development fuel in the revised Renewable Tranport Fuels Obligation.


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