Irish motorists could benefit from biogas transportation research

A lecturer in transportation engineering at the University College Cork (UCC), Ireland believes Irish motorists could be relying on feedstock like sea lettuce to fuel their cars in the future.

Jerry Murphy, who has a PhD in energy production from waste, has presented the potential for biomethane produced from slurry and grass via anaerobic digestion. This could help the country meet directives coming from Brussels which want EU member states to be producing more biofuels from waste feedstocks.

‘If we had 1.1% of Ireland's area of grass available for co-digestion with slurry, we could produce enough biogas to meet Ireland's 2020 target for biofuel use in transport,’ Murphy was quoted as saying. ‘There are lots of areas of grassland and farms in Ireland where the grass is not used to its maximum and there is a huge potential to use grass to produce biofuels.’

This would benefit Ireland as a new rule states members of the public should never be more than 150km away from a service station which offers compressed natural gas fuel by 2020.

Murphy and his team at UCC are working on a project with farmers in the west of Cork in which washed up seaweed is harvested before being digested with farm slurry to produce biogas.

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