Technology.am (Sept. 09, 2009) — University of East Anglia (UEA) is launching the first bus in the UK to run on clean, biomethane gas. The vehicle can still run on diesel, but most of the time is running on biomethane gas which is a much cleaner and less polluting fuel.
It is expected that the dual-fuel diesel-biomethane powered bus will reduce pollutant emissions and greenhouse gas emissions by around a half.
The bus will make its first public showing at LCV 2009, the exhibition of low carbon vehicle technology at the Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire on Sept. 9 and 10.
The dual-fuel vehicle is a standard Optare Solo single-deck diesel midibus from the Anglian Bus fleet. Originally powered entirely by diesel, the Mercedes-Benz engine has been adapted to run for 60-80 per cent of the time on clean, low-carbon biomethane.
Biomethane is chemically identical to the methane in natural gas but it is made by bacterial action on biowastes. Biomethane is extracted from landfill sites or from biogas produced in purpose-built anaerobic digestion facilities.
The cost of conversion of a diesel bus to dual-fuel use is a small fraction of the cost of a new natural gas bus.
Benefits of using biomethane as a fuel include:
A reduction in particulate and NOx emissions levels of around half compared with diesel leading to cleaner air in towns and cities.
Reduced operating costs on a cost per mile basis
A reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of around half as a result of using methane from landfill sites, food and agricultural waste.