Biomethane from refuse produces 95 per cent less greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline, cites NGVAmerica from a Lund University (Sweden) research group report. Further, with a few simple improvements to a typical biomethane plant, the figure can rise to 120 per cent – that is, biomethane becomes better than climate neutral. In Sweden, there are about 20 similar plants to the one analyzed, producing biomethane for use in cars and other vehicles.
“The plant we have studied is fairly representative of an average biogas plant that processes gas from waste and manure”, said Mikael Lantz, a doctoral student in Environmental and Energy Systems Studies at Lund University. “In our study, we have calculated emissions for the entire production chain, and included both direct and indirect emissions. What is particular to our study is that we have included indirect factors that have not previously been taken into account, for example how the ground is affected when mineral fertilizer is replaced with bio-fertilizer … In addition, methane leaching from the plant is measured and not based on standard data that is often otherwise used in this kind of analysis”.
Today, about 65 percent of the gas used in NGVs in Sweden is biomethane.
The research was conducted on behalf of the Swedish Energy Agency. The Swedish language report — Systemoptimerad Produktion av Fordonsgas – En miljö- och energisystemanalys av (System Optimized Production of Vehicle Fuel – an Environmental and Energy Analysis) — is available here.
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