Redvale’s upgrading plant had been producing methane for more than 10 years and had been using it to produce electricity. However, there are more benefits from producing biogas than electricity, said Niwa Research Engineer Stephan Heubeck, who coordinated the project since 2008.
“Up to 5% of New Zealand’s current transport fuel requirements could be met with biogas from municipal and rural wastes that require treatment and handling,” said Heubeck. “This project shows the value chain from waste to biogas recovery to biogas use as a vehicle fuel. All the partners in this project have put in significant expertise and resources to take this from an idea to a reality.”
The truck runs on both biomethane and diesel and will be on the refuse fleet within the next few weeks as the project team is trialling its on-road performance. According to the teamwork, the “waste to fuel” project is bringing to life the possibilities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and diversifying transport fuel needs for more renewable and domestically sourced supplies. It is the “first step” towards New Zealand following the lead of Europe and the United States where biogas is increasingly being used as a fuel.
Transpacific’s managing director Tom Nickels stated: “We are committed to investing in biogas vehicle fuel technology to provide a more attractive and beneficial use for landfill gas. We want to work with government and local bodies around the country to ensure that New Zealand’s waste isn’t being wasted. Biogas is an affordable, reliable and sustainable fuel and we need to ensure our country has the right incentives in place to encourage investment and innovation in this area.”
Source: Greenlane Biogas