The launch of the UK’s first facility to turn landfill gas into a liquid fuel suitable for use in commercial vehicles has taken place, at a landfill site in Surrey.

A partnership between biomethane specialists Gasrec, gas and engineering firm BOC and waste management company SITA UK is behind the facility at the Albury landfill near Guildford.

The facility is capable of recovering around 85% of methane contained in landfill gas emitting from the disposal site, to produce enough liquid fuel to power up to 500 light vehicles or 150 HGV’s.

The fuel can be used in any vehicle already running on compressed or liquefied natural gas, but runs more cleanly and quietly, achieving up to 70% carbon savings compared to standard diesel.

Announcing the start of production, Gasrec Chief Executive Richard Lilleystone said, “Our technology not only captures a highly valuable source of clean fuel for vehicles, but also provides the means for landfill and waste managers to optimise their gas assets fully.”

Initially, Gasrec is aiming to sell its liquid biomethane (LBM) fuel to commercial haulage firms and waste management companies to replace diesel in their vehicle fleets. Lilleystone noted his company would be aiming to work with all industrial sectors to provide LBM fuel for commercial vehicles, as well as local authorities and government.

For its part, BOC’s parent company The Linde Group will be providing the technology for liquefying the gas, while BOC itself will operate the plant - which is expected to have an operational life of around 15 years.

Steven Eckhardt, Head of LNG and Biogas Business Development for Linde, said, “BOC is proud to be part of this first of a kind effort in Europe, which is a key focus area for The Linde Group in our efforts to develop sustainable gaseous fuels and fuelling solutions.”

Gasrec is already paving the way for its process to turn biogas from anaerobic digestion facilities into liquid fuel.