A global history of traffic biogas has been published as a result of a research project of the Finnish Biogas Association. The study ”Development of biogas technology systems for transport” written by Ari Lampinen, chairman of the Finnish Biogas Association, was released on the pages 5-37 of the issue 3/2013 of the journal Tekniikan Waiheita – the Finnish Quarterly for the History of Technology. It is a peer-reviewed journal published by the Finnish Society for the History of Technology.
Almost all the biogas for vehicle use is produced from biowaste, so the life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions are lower than any other biofuel, and it also avoids the direct and indirect land-use changes that produce environmental risks and social risks of many other transport biofuels.
Lampinen Ari (2013) Development of biogas technology systems for transport.
Tekniikan Waiheita (Finnish Quarterly for the History of Technology)
Biogas was first adopted as a fuel for transport in Germany in the 1930s. These days it is widely promoted as a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels. This article examines the historic background, governance and the motives for the use of traffic biogas. Other renewable methane fuels, such as synthetic biogas and wind methane, and fossil methane fuels such as natural gas and synthetic natural gas, are also included. Compressed town gas played an important part in the adoption of methane for traffic use, so its history is also examined. Three waves of development in the use of traffic biogas are identified: the Second World War, the 1970s oil crises, and the present day quest for sustainability. The article looks at the use of traffic biogas in a global perspective, although most of the examples are from Europe, as the majority of the technological and political advances have been European.
This special issue of the journal is completely written in English and has a focus on transport history. Content list of this issue can be found at http://www.ths.fi/uusin.htm. This issue was produced for the international conference on transport history, to be held in Kouvola in Finland and in St.
Petersburg in Russia from 25 to 28 September.
This issue can be purchased from the editor-in-chief: Katariina Mauranen, The Finnish Society for the History of Technology, House of Science and
Letters, Kirkkokatu 6, FIN – 00170 Helsinki, Finland (http://www.ths.fi/ths_english.htm).
(Source: Finnish Biogas Association)