Biogas is currently used in compressed form mainly by city buses, cars and light transport vehicles, but has so far been less competitive for heavy long-distance vehicles. In recent years, technology has been developed to cool biogas to around -160 degrees Celsius so that it becomes liquid and therefore more energy dense. This opens the way to the possibility of using the gas for heavy transport, both by land and sea.
The availability of biogas will increase rapidly throughout Europe, thanks in part to the EU’s decision to create refueling points along the main European road networks (TEN-T).
Flixbus, in cooperation with Scania and gas supplier Gasum, has announced the first biogas-powered long-distance passenger vehicle in its fleet, which will operate on the Stockholm-Oslo route.
Powered by liquid biogas (LBG), the bus promises to reduce environmental impact by contributing to the green transition of the passenger transport sector between the two Nordic capitals.
“It is the first long-distance bus powered by liquid biogas, and is probably the most sustainable solution to date,” said Johan Ekberg, Head of Scania´s Customer Unit.
The advantages of liquid biogas are many: it is fossil free, renewable, locally produced and reduces emissions. By switching to locally produced liquid biogas as a fuel for industrial vehicles and long-distance passenger transport, operators reduce their own and their customers’ climate impact by more than 90 percent. Air quality also improves due to reduced emissions of particulate matter and nitrogen oxides (NOx), and vehicles are quieter, which benefits drivers, passengers and the environment in general.
“Biogas is not only the fuel with the lowest CO2 emissions, it also solves local waste problems, creates jobs and brings carbon and nutrients back to the soil. It is the Swiss army knife of the circular economy,” explains Jonas Strömberg, Sustainability Director at Scania.
Already today, 17% of the gas in the European network is biogas, and this is increasing rapidly, actively contributing to the reduction of CO2 emissions. In the Swedish automotive gas network biogas reaches an incredible 95% share
“Biogas will be one of the key tools for decarbonising heavy transport, especially for long distance operations such as intercity and long haul. Half of the European heavy duty gas vehicle fleet could be running on biogas by 2025″, concludes Jonas Strömberg.