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Sludge tanker powered by biomethane completes successful UK trial

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A sludge tanker powered by bio-CNG (compressed natural gas) from CNG Fuels has completed a successful trial with UK firm GENeco, Wessex Water’s renewable energy company. The truck runs on 100% renewable and sustainable biomethane which is derived from waste and approved under the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO).

According to Wessex Water, the truck was tested on routes that transport sludge from local treatment centres across the Wessex Water region, reducing carbon emissions and fuel costs. Peter Eaton, general manager of CNG Fuels, said: “The trial with GENeco was the first time a 6x2 CNG vehicle has been tested with a water company and I’m pleased to say that the vehicle performed exceptionally well on heavy and challenging work.

“The trial results showed a significant fuel cost saving of more than 40% and a carbon dioxide equivalent reduction of over 80% versus a comparable diesel vehicle.”

This trial, which was supported by CNG Fuels’ on-site mobile trailer refuelling station, is the latest innovation for a company with a “proud history” of green vehicles. In 2010, GENeco created the Bio-Bug, a VW Beetle powered by human waste. This was followed by the Bio-Bus, the first UK bus to be powered by biomethane derived from food, sewage and commercial liquid wastes. Just two years ago, the company created the Bio-Bee, the UK’s first vehicle to both collect and run on commercial food waste.

“Each tanker delivering sludge for treatment will be powered by the gas generated from this treatment, a perfect example of the circular economy in action,” said Francis Marsh, GENeco’s liquid Bioresources manager. “We’re really excited to be part of this project, which feels like a natural progression from all of our work on the Bio-Bug, the Bio-Bus and more recently the Bio-Bee.

“This trial could be a game-changer for the company, and also the industry as a whole. No one else in the UK is currently doing what we’re doing. If implemented, each tanker converted to biomethane would achieve a carbon saving equivalent to removing over 100 cars from the roads.”