The Vuorenmaa dairy farm has written a new page for the history books, as Finland’s first manure-powered milk truck filled up with the farm’s own renewable biogas. The farm, in Haapavesi, has 180 cows that produce milk for Valio’s local dairy, where it is made into Valio Oltermanni® cheese. For years, the farm has used the manure its cows produce to generate electricity and heat for the farm at their own biogas plant. For the first time, that biogas has begun to fuel a Valio milk truck. Using biogas as vehicle fuel is a part of Valio’s program that aims to reset milk’s carbon footprint to zero by 2035.
“The Vuorenmaa farm’s biogas plant currently produces roughly 1,900 Mwh of biogas every year. We were overhauling the plant’s equipment and decided to expand its functions to produce biogas fuel. The milk truck from our local dairy at Haapavesi can fill up at our farm at the same time as they collect our milk. In the future, the fueling station near the farm will also provide biogas for passenger cars”, said Janne Vuorenmaa, who runs the farm with his brother and family.
“Using biogas can reduce fuel’s lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by up to 85% compared to diesel, which is what our milk collection and distribution trucks run on. At the same time, the dairy farm’s own carbon footprint goes down significantly, by one fourth or fifth, depending on the method of calculation”, commented Valio’s Development Manager Petteri Tahvanainen, who is responsible for the vehicle fleet.
The biogas plant and the biomethane refining and refueling station were developed by Demeca Oy. “We have spent a long time developing our biomethane refining unit and trialed various technical solutions. Now, a milk truck can refuel at the farm every day and the equipment is running well”, stated Demeca Sales Director Sami Vinkki.
The milk is collected from the farm with transportation business H. Vähäaho Oy’s new milk truck. “When this project started about a year ago, we were very excited. It’s been a joy to see that all our partners have been just as excited to take part. There have been no significant surprises, as everything worked as planned, both for the refueling system and the truck. Some people may say that such as small act is not enough to save the world, but we are excited to be a part of such a chain that can result in concrete reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in the places that we live and breathe”, added H. Vähäaho Oy’s Sami Vähäaho.