A cleaner solution – cutting harmful emissions with natural gas

A cleaner solution – cutting harmful emissions with natural gas | GasRec

London, United Kingdom (05 May 2015) – Since 1990, CO2 emission across the European Union have fallen in every major sector except one – transport, where emissions have risen by around 20% over the same period. Road transport now accounts for around 20% of the total EU carbon output and has significantly impacted air quality through particulates, NOx and SOx.

Fortunately, design and technical innovation are generally delivering performance enhancements across the board and the recent introduction of Euro 6 diesel engines has the potential to improve air quality in some duty cycles.

However at the heavier end of the market there continues to be a major challenge – while HGVs represent only around two per cent of road vehicles, they generate a vastly disproportionate 20% of road transport derived CO2 as a greenhouse gas.

For HGVs, the use of biomethane and natural gas – whether liquefied or compressed – is now widely recognised as the most effective solution for reducing emissions. This was underpinned in a 2012 study for the Department of Transport by Ricardo-AEA which acknowledged that a shift to gas as a fuel to replace diesel was the most effective and commercially viable way to decarbonise HGVs.

So what are the advantages of using a natural gas fuel in transport, whether LNG, CNG or bio-LNG/CNG?

  • Both natural gas and bio-LNG/CNG are much cleaner and less costly than diesel. Even the chemical formulas tell the story – diesel C12H23 (12 carbon atoms) versus natural gas CH4 (one carbon atom).
  • CO2 emissions from a dual-fuel HGV (using 50% diesel and 50% LNG) are 10-15% lower than the equivalent Euro 6 diesel HGV dependent on duty cycle. Similarly, savings with the latest dedicated LNG vehicles are 20-30%.
  • CO2 savings are further enhanced with bio-LNG (a blend of LNG and biomethane) giving between 25% and 70% savings depending on the mix.
  • HGV’s using LNG, CNG or bio-LNG continue to produce less NOx and SOx than their diesel equivalents and almost zero particulates. One leading OEM with Euro 6 dedicated LNG trucks already operating on European roads, is achieving a 95% reduction in harmful particulates and a 35% reduction in NOx emissions when compared to diesel.
  • Methane slip is often cited by sceptics but this concern is exaggerated, however methane slipping from the engine combustion process is destroyed by the catalytic converter and tests now show that OEM vehicles such as the Scania dedicated gas HGV produce no methane exhaust emissions.
  • Gas vehicles are much quieter than diesel equivalents and are well suited to deliveries in towns and cities during the night.

With the Isle of Grain LNG import terminal opening this summer, expansion of EU supply ports underpinning supply-chain reliability and taxation lower for gas as a road fuel (guaranteed for 10 years at a discount to diesel), there are clearly strong economic as well as environmental reasons for hauliers to invest in gas fuelled vehicles.

Issued by:

Nick Welsh – Gasrec
01483 421676 (07770 832838)

Notes to editors:

Gasrec is Europe’s only commercial producer of Liquefied Biomethane (LBM) as a vehicle fuel and the leading UK provider of Bio-LNG.

LBM is a class leading biofuel derived from liquefied landfill gas, or biogas from anaerobic digestion. When combined with Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) it becomes Gasrec’s unique offering, Bio-LNG.

When using a 15% LBM/85% LNG mix, Bio-LNG can cut HGV fuel bills by up to 20% compared to pure diesel equivalents. It also has CO2 emissions of 2.08 kgs per litre of diesel equivalent compared to 3.10 kgs per litre for diesel – hence every unit of diesel displaced by gas results in 33% less CO2 emissions. Typically this leads to a 20% reduction in carbon emissions for a standard dual fuel truck.

Additionally, when used in a dedicated gas HGV, liquefied gas fuel delivers emission reductions of nitrogen oxide (NOx) of up to 85.8% and particulate matter (PM) reductions of up to 97.1% when compared to diesel. The vehicles in this case are also 50% quieter.

Gasrec supplies bio-LNG through 11 refuelling stations. The company designs, installs and manages ”open-access” and dedicated on-site refuelling facilities for its many transport customers, which include Arla, B&Q, Brit European, Culina Ambient, DHL Supply Chain, John Lewis, Kuehne + Nagel, Lenham, Muller Wiseman Dairies, NISA, Sainsbury’s, Stobart Transport, Howard Tenens, Tesco Distribution, UPS and Waitrose.

The company has secured European funding for a pilot network of five ”open-access” filling stations across the UK motorway network with a further two stations outside the UK.

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