Colombian natural gas pipeline operator Transportadora de Gas Internacional (TGI), together with energy suppliers Gas Natural Fenosa (GNF) and Ecopetrol, recently conducted a comparative test between a natural gas powered waste collection vehicle and a conventionally-powered vehicle. The results were presented on Monday this week and showed that natural gas garbage collection trucks are a great alternative to improve air quality in Bogotá.
For seven days, a natural gas truck with Euro V technology was operated in the capital of the country, through Aguas de Bogotá, in order to put it to the test in different types of challenges inherent to the collection of waste over the more complex routes in the city, such as San Cristóbal, Usme, Rafael Uribe, among others. These same tests were carried out with a traditional vehicle during the same period of time and in the defined routes.
The results were presented today during an event that included the participation of the Secretaries of Mobility, Juan Pablo Bocarejo, and Environment Francisco Cruz, as well as officials from the Ministry of Mines and Energy and representatives of TGI, GNF and Ecopetrol. These companies have joined forces for the purpose of encouraging the use of natural gas in mass transportation and in waste collection vehicles.
The report was certified by ICONTEC (Colombian Institute of Technical Standards and Certification) and endorsed by an expert consultant in measurement of emissions en route. It ratified that natural gas fuelled vehicles are a convenient option to combat the problems of pollution of the city, improve the health of citizens and seek an efficient operation in the collection of solid waste.
The tests, carried out in real conditions, showed the reduction of particulate material by 95%, nitrogen oxides of 91% and CO2 reduction of 25% compared to a traditional vehicle. Figures aligned with the goals for improvement of the air in the city, which support the strategies of the District Development Plan, as well as those contemplated in the Ten-Year Decontamination Plan for Bogotá.
According to experts, switching to vehicular natural gas in the 200 compactor vehicles plus the light duty waste collection vehicles would mean a saving of almost 13 thousand tons of CO2, which would be discharged into the environment during the next eight years with the current system.
The silent operation of the truck with natural gas was another significant variable, especially for the nocturnal collection schedules. There was even a report from users who forgot to take out their waste because they did not hear the characteristic noise of the current collectors. According to the tests, the noise produced during the start-up of the vehicle with natural gas is 10 times less than that of a truck with which the service is currently provided.
CNG also brings an economic benefit for operators. in Colombia. Operating costs based on the prices of fuels recorded during the monitoring period indicated that the diesel operation is $ 11,443 / ton, while the operation of CNG has a cost of $ 9,937 / ton. According to the experts, if all the compactor fleet in the capital of the country worked with this fuel, it would save around COP 2,700 million (USD 890,000) annually.
In tests conducted such as the hill start, the ascent to the Doña Juana landfill and the performance in inter-neighborhood routes, the NGV was also ratified as a convenient transportation option due to its efficiency and performance.
“In the Ecopetrol Group we are making an important commitment to bring gas to more people; For this reason, the production, transport and distribution companies have the challenge of working hand in hand with the regional and local authorities to make this massification a reality”, said the president of Ecopetrol, Felipe Bayón.
For Javier Fernández González, president of Gas Natural Fenosa Colombia, “the natural gas sector has the experience, the service and the infrastructure to make this fuel the path that Colombia follows to boost its development and ensure the welfare of society. Currently, the country has gas reserves, with full guarantee of supply and distribution. Therefore, natural gas can be offered at a known and stable rate over time. The problem continues to be the shortage in demand, which implies a distribution network completed and installed, but underused.”
For his part, Jaime Orjuela, president in charge of TGI, GEB company, said that “from TGI we will continue betting on clean fuels, not only in Bogota but in different parts of the country, in order to encourage the use of vehicular natural gas, especially for mass transport, loading and collection of solid waste, always with the aim of contributing to the protection of the environment, the quality of life of citizens and the optimization of operating costs of these fleets “.
Finally, from the president of the union that brings together companies dedicated to the distribution and marketing of natural gas in the country, Naturgas, Orlando Cabrales” “with these results, the current administration has in its hands a golden opportunity to generate a public policy to define the use of original factory vehicles with CNG engines for the solid waste collection system in Bogotá”.
Source: Transportadora de Gas Internacional