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Biogas Benefits: A Green Future for the Transport Sector

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All businesses face pressures to innovate and none more than haulage companies. For decades now, issues around climate change have pushed the development of new and alternative fuels, and these debates are only intensifying as evidence piles up.

This can be stressful, especially as transport firms find themselves caught between regulatory limits and commercial pressures to innovate. But it can also open new opportunities. Biogas might just lead to major benefits for the transport sector, so read on to find out more about this exciting alternative fuel.

What is Biogas?

There’s a lot of science behind it, of course, but in short biogas is exactly what it sounds like: gas produced by biological processes.
Waste materials such as industrial, domestic and food waste are put into a container. Inside, they undergo a process of anaerobic digestion, producing a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide. Or, more simply, organic materials go in, organic processes occur, and organic fuel comes out.

But how can all this affect haulage companies?

Benefits

Biogas has a number of significant advantages over traditional fuels, which makes it a serious contender to power the vehicles of the near future and beyond.

Firstly, it’s classed as renewable, both because waste products are so plentiful and because the carbon dioxide released when it’s burnt helps grow the organic material that eventually goes into the gas’s manufacture.

Secondly, it’s clean-burning. Where something like diesel belches out a mixture of harmful substances, including sulphur dioxide and miniscule particulates, biogas produces only carbon dioxide, water and energy.

On top of this, and connected to these two points, it seems to be carbon neutral, as all the CO2 produced in burning it is absorbed into the organic materials then used to produce more gas.

The benefits to haulage companies are increasingly clear, and indeed this new fuel is already starting to transform the transport sector.

How it’s Changing the Industry

As we’ve noted, this fuel is easy and uncontroversial to source and use, making it good news for environmental concerns. There is encouraging evidence on this front already, with haulage companies that switch seeing the following results:

• Nitrogen oxide emissions halved
• Particulate emissions nearly eradicated
• Carbon dioxide output reduced by as much as 95%

More than this, though, it also has tangible benefits to firms. Firstly, it makes operations much quieter – a crucial boon when working in residential areas. Secondly, it can save you money, reducing expenditures on fuel by around a third.

The Future of Fuel?

Some have raised concerns about the long-term sustainability of biogas, but gas and infrastructure supplier Roadgas believes this is not the case. Their managing director David Rix described a ‘highly organised supply market with a structured supply chain’, also noting that recycling in this way could offer ‘a solution for our waste problems.’

Roadgas also argues that growing demand will see infrastructure improve to meet it, but haulage companies might still have reason to be sceptical. Assurances that supply issues will be solved before they arise may well prove correct, but they aren’t enough to base logistics on.

In short, current trends are encouraging, and processes of production, storage and refining continue to improve. Transport industry observers would do well to keep an eye on the development of this exciting field.
About author: Desiree Michels

Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Haulage Exchange provides services for matching drivers or haulage companies with available jobs. Over 5,400 member companies are networked together through the Exchange to fill empty capacity, get new clients and form long-lasting business relationships.

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