Biogas to Fuel Trucks?

Jacqueline Mullin

Renewable fuels are a hot topic in many industries, including transportation, which still relies heavily on diesel fuel. Using biogas to fuel trucks is becoming more appealing to both industry and environmentalists as more research supports the concept of using food waste as a catalyst and alternative to diesel.

The Canadian Biogas Association explains that biogas is created through the process of Anaerobic Digestion. Currently biogas is being used as an environmentally friendly source of electricity, heat and power for cars. When considered as an alternative to fossil fuels, an increase in biogas use equates to a reduction in carbon dioxide production. Moreover, the ability to capture biogas diminishes the amount of methane gas released into the atmosphere. Cutting back the production of methane gas and carbon dioxide, both damaging greenhouse gases, is helping governments to move closer to their pollution-reduction targets.

Biogas from food waste is also known to have a number of other environmental benefits. Decreasing the volume of garbage placed in landfill sites and the production of “digestate”, a by-product of the anaerobic digestion process that the Canadian Biogas Association explains is used to increase the amount of organic matter in soil are just two examples.

As an alternative to diesel, companies are exploring the idea of using biogas from food waste as a source of low carbon truck fuel. With a focus placed on industries such as dairy, known to have smaller distances between the farm and the processing site, involved parties are exploring ways to upgrade facilities and vehicles to biogas use. Encouraging the increasing investment in research and development and facilitating the move to low carbon truck fuel are government incentives and increasing diesel prices. Food and beverage processors are realizing the opportunity to re-purpose their waste and to use the fuel they produce to run their own trucks.

Transportation and fuel efficiency go hand in hand. By employing low carbon truck fuel obtained from renewable fuels, such as biogas, opportunities for positive environmental change are becoming clear. While the various possibilities available to replace fossil fuels with biogas from food waste are still being explored, the appetite for change is apparent.