Sheffield City Council, UK, is to conduct a demonstration running light vans and other council vehicles on biomethane – and local gas & equipment company Chesterfield BioGas is supplying its expertise to the project.

The company and the Council have signed an agreement to install a temporary filling station, with Chesterfield BioGas providing the biomethane gas filling station and associated delivery equipment.

The station, one of the first of its kind in the UK, will be installed at the Council’s Staniforth Road vehicle depot to demonstrate the environmental benefits of biomethane-powered vehicles.

A division of Chesterfield Special Cylinders Ltd, based in Sheffield, UK, Chesterfield BioGas has been involved in the development of equipment for fuelling vehicles for years. The company also supplies systems for converting raw biogas to biomethane, an efficient and environmentally-clean vehicle fuel with almost no carbon emissions.

Biomethane is similar in its properties to the natural gas currently supplied for domestic heating, generated from organic waste products such as cattle manures, or horticultural and brewing residues and, most significantly for the future, household waste.

It is already widely used in other countries, particularly Germany and Sweden, where Chesterfield BioGas has experience gained from various projects, including a particular project which provides fuel from Stockholm’s household waste to power most of its buses.

Proven technology
The agreement for the Sheffield demonstration project allows for the biomethane to be supplied to the site by road, in a transportable cylinder pack built by Chesterfield Special Cylinders.

The amount of fuel used by the Council’s vehicles will be carefully monitored to assess the level of emissions and to compare the performance of the scheme against other successful schemes around the world. But in the longer term, the Council would support the development of plants to digest organic wastes and then capture the raw biogas produced.

This could be cleaned and upgraded to biomethane by the Chesterfield BioGas process, before being compressed and dispensed at a similar but permanent vehicle filling station.

Steve Simmons, of the Sheffield Council Environmental Strategy Team, said of the scheme, “We have been working closely with Chesterfield BioGas who have a proven technology which we are very keen to use as part of this demonstration project. The use of gas-powered vehicles will assist Sheffield to hit the Government’s targets for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.$quot;