VERBIO AG, a renewable energy company based in Leipzig, is supplying “verbiogas” biofuel to natural gas filling stations in the eastern Germany for the first time. The city utilities in Schwedt, Dessau and Lutherstadt Wittenberg are to offer 100% verbiogas at their natural gas stations with immediate effect. This means that the municipal fleet of buses running on natural gas in Dessau will operate virtually free of CO2 emissions.
“Supplying to these city utilities means that we have converted more municipalities throughout Germany to 100% verbiogas. Dessau, Schwedt and Wittenberg are playing a pioneering role in eastern Germany and are joining the city utilities of Munich and Augsburg, which have been using the new biofuel for several months now”, explained Claus Sauter, CEO.
verbiogas (biomethane) is produced using only agricultural residues such as straw and is made without using foodstuffs. VERBIO produces the biogas at its two bio-refineries in Zörbig and Schwedt/Oder using an in-house developed technology. It reduces greenhouse gases by 90% in comparison with petrol.
Driving with natural gas or biogas makes an important contribution to climate protection. Pollutant emissions from natural gas vehicles are up to 95% lower than from petrol or diesel vehicles. Natural gas vehicles have lower ozone and smog potential. There are almost no particles of soot or benzene. Natural gas combustion produces up to 25% less carbon dioxide than petrol-driven vehicles. Using biomethane as as part of a fuel mix or on its own causes a further reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
VERBIO says driving with natural gas/biogas not only protects the environment, but is also good for the wallet. Over identical distances, the fuel costs are only half those of petrol and around one third less than diesel. Until 2018, the fuel is subject to a much lower German crude oil tax and the German vehicle tax on natural gas vehicles is also very favourable.
There are now some 900 natural gas filling stations in Germany, with the network growing constantly. The number of renowned car manufacturers with natural gas models is also increasing steadily. For example, VW, Daimler, Opel and Fiat have a number of models on the market, and other new vehicles are to be presented at this year’s International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt/Main.
VERBIO’s declared intention is to increase its production capacity from around 500 gigawatt hours (GWh) at present to 2,000 GWh by 2015 and convert Germany’s entire natural gas station network to verbiogas in the process.
(This article compiled using information from a VERBIO AG press release)