enercity Contracting GmbH (eCG), a subsidiary of Stadtwerke Hanover AG, is the supplier of what is currently the most environmentally-friendly fuel in Hanover, Germany, and it comes from straw. Four large bales of straw produce about 500 kg of biomethane – enough to fuel a natural gas vehicle (NGV) for one year. The renewable natural gas (RNG) is produced by Vereinigte BioEnergie AG (Verbio).
500kg of biomethane is enough fuel for medium-class natural gas cars, such as Volkswagen’s Passat or the Golf Variant, to travel 11,500 kilometers. A natural gas car can drive without any engine adaptations or power losses with natural gas and with biomethane mixed in any ratio, losing none of their cutting edge to traditional fuel vehicles.
Corinna Kleimann, eCG’s mobility expert: “With biomethane from residues such as straw, we are offering a way out of the current climate and pollutant trap in Hanover.”
Fine dust problems do not exist with natural gas engines. A natural gas vehicle produces only five percent of the fine dust emissions compared to a direct injection gasoline engine. While the limit values planned for autumn of 2017 can only safely be exceeded by installing a particle filter, natural gas vehicles are at one-twentieth of the permitted value without complicated technology. And there are no problems with nitrogen oxides, a pollutant at the centre of discussions to ban cars from the streets of the city.
eCG explains there is also a benefit for natural gas cars related to carbon dioxide; using renewable natural gas – they are almost CO 2 -free.
The company has been supplying biomethane since the start of 2017. It operates six natural gas filling stations in Hanover and the nearby town of Langenhagen and is driving the use of alternative vehicle propulsion systems such as electricity and natural gas.