Biomethane is the only practical way to decarbonise large vehicles says ADBA

Charlotte Morton, the Chief Executive of the Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association (ADBA), has argued in Air Quality News that biomethane from anaerobic digestion (AD) is the only practical means of decarbonising HGVs, buses and other large vehicles.
Biomethane is the only practical way to decarbonise large vehicles says ADBA
Courtesy of ADBA

Writing in Air Quality News yesterday, Charlotte Morton, said:

“Given how far hydrogen is 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 percent of the UK’s entire bus fleet and the potential to produce enough biomethane to power 75 percent of all HGVs in the UK.”

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 fewer ozone promoters, aldehydes, and non-methane hydrocarbons than Euro V diesel vehicles, as well as particulate-matter-free combustion. Biomethane offers a 50-80 percent 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 the world’s largest fleet of biogas double-deck buses became operational in Nottingham.

Ms Morton's statement comes as the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has announced today that producers of biomethane can now claim government support from both the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), for biomethane used to decarbonise the gas grid, and from the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO), for biomethane used as a transport fuel.

Ms Morton welcomed the BEIS announcement, adding that it will help in particular to make the RTFO a more commercially viable and bankable route that can underpin future investments in transport-related AD expansion. She said that ADBA has worked closely with its members, BEIS, DfT, Ofgem and other trade associations to secure this outcome, which ADBA sees as a “fabulous example of different stakeholders working together to develop shared understanding and create future opportunities for investment”.

The role of biomethane as a transport fuel will be a key theme of UK AD & World Biogas Expo 2018, the world’s largest tradeshow dedicated solely to AD and biogas, taking place on 11th-12th July at the NEC in Birmingham. The expo, which is being organised by ADBA and the World Biogas Association, will feature panel discussions on stimulating the UK biomethane-for-transport market and biogas refuelling infrastructure, as well as case studies of biomethane bus fleets from around the world. 

For additional information:

Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association (ADBA)

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