Ireland’s Bord Gáis Funds Research into Biomethane as Transport Fuel

| Ireland

“Biomethane is far superior to first generation liquid biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel – Dr Jerry Murphy, ERI

Ground-breaking research into the use of renewable gas at University College Cork’s Environmental Research Institute (ERI) in Ireland has received an EUR 0.25 million (USD 0.318 million) boost for 2012. The initiative which involves minority funding from national natural gas distributor Bord Gáis Networks (BGN) will enable the Institute to develop its research beyond the academic sphere and into industry. ERI and Bord Gáis have recently issued a report entitled “The Future of Renewable Gas in Ireland”, which outlined that the potential resource of renewable gas in Ireland is sufficient to provide for 10% of transport fuel or 40% of natural gas used in houses.

“There is no silver bullet when it comes to fuels of the future,” said Dr Jerry Murphy, Principal Investigator in Bioenergy and Biofuels at the ERI. “We have investigated the sustainability of producing biomethane from a range of feed stocks such as organic waste materials and non-food crops. We have shown that biomethane is far superior to first generation liquid biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel. Of huge benefit is the fact that the gas can be injected to the natural gas grid and used as a transport fuel in natural gas vehicles (NGV). The gas grid is the distribution system for the fuel, negating the need for on road tankers,” he added.

Mr John Barry Managing Director of Bord Gáis Networks said: “We are looking forward to working with the ERI and encourage all interested parties to work together to ensure that biomethane can become a key contributor to meeting Ireland’s renewable energy targets.”

“Renewable gas used as a transport fuel must be a viable option for Ireland in the near future. To stimulate this market BGN is currently trialling a production-line NGV in its fleet and is engaging with the transport and energy sectors to establish an NGV industry forum,” Barry said.

In November last year, Barry delivered the message that Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Natural Gas Vehicles (NGVs) can reduce fuel costs by up to 60% for businesses in Ireland, whilst also significantly reducing vehicle emissions, to over 150 transport and energy industry professionals at a Bord Gáis Networks conference.

(This article compiled using information from ERI and Bord Gáis press releases)

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