REMONDIS, GVG Rhein-Erft, Zukunft ERDGAS and IVECO join forces to test biogas-fuelled vehicles, a further initiative to help protect the environment
With the country in danger of not reaching its climate goals and a ban on diesel vehicles becoming a real threat, the recycling industry is also on the look-out for clean, eco-efficient trucks. REMONDIS, Germany’s leading recycling company, and its partners have come up with a solution: a climate-neutral waste collection truck run on biogas. Compared to diesel-fuelled trucks, these eco-friendly vehicles could help improve air quality and reduce noise pollution in cities.
The fuel biomethane (also known as biogas) has been produced by the recycling industry for a while now – a sign of its modern and innovative focus. Over the last few years, the industry has succeeded in using state-of-the-art digester facilities to transform household organic waste into carbon-neutral, climate-friendly biomethane. Previously fed into the gas network to produce electricity and heat, this biogenic substance can now also be used to fuel waste collection vehicles thanks to a pilot project set up by REMONDIS and its partners, GVG Rhein-Erft, Zukunft ERDGAS and IVECO. The technical performance of IVECO’s biogas-fuelled vehicles is just as good as a waste collection truck run on diesel. What’s more, their carbon footprint is much better: 90% fewer carbon emissions and approx. 60% less nitric oxide – and they are up to five decibels quieter. The dust and particulate matter emissions are so low, they are hardly detectable at all. Which all means that biomethane is a potential short-term solution for those looking for a fuel that clearly falls below the Euro 6 nitric oxide and particulate matter emission limits. Over the long term, this fuel – which is based on a raw material that is both sustainable and readily available – could facilitate climate-neutral mobility.
The volume of organic waste collected in Germany is expected to increase greatly in the future with local authorities now being obliged by law to distribute organic waste bins to ensure this waste stream is collected separately. At present, 9 TWh of biomethane are being produced from biomass across Germany every year. Even though this waste stream must be collected separately, four million tonnes of organic waste are still being thrown into the residual waste bin. Were more to be made of this material, then up to 100 TWh of biomethane could be generated each year. Experts believe that this would be enough biomethane to fuel 50% of all commercial vehicles on Germany’s roads.
The partners are planning to start testing these climate-neutral trucks in Pulheim and Erftstadt on 01 August. To begin with, these tests will involve six IVECO vehicles. The drivers will be able to fill up with this green fuel at a new autogas pump which REMONDIS and GVG will be installing in Hürth with the help of Zukunft ERDGAS. The time needed to fill up the tanks will not be much longer than with any other vehicle as the trucks are equipped with fast fill technology. All in all, the drivers will need around 8 minutes to fill the gas tanks. When used to collect waste, the vehicles can then cover approx. 200km. Eight gas tanks are able to hold 640 litres of gas, with the fuel weighing just 88kg. While diesel-fuelled trucks are able to cover longer distances (approx. 400km more), this eco-friendly alternative is more than able to complete a standard waste collection route in a medium-sized town without having to stop at a filling station.
These new vehicles have a three-axle chassis with a steerable trailer axle to improve manoeuvrability. The 26-tonne trucks have been fitted with a 330 PS engine. As the nature of the work means these trucks are constantly stopping and starting, they have all been fitted out with an Allison gearbox to reduce wear and tear. This also enables the drivers to focus completely on the traffic around them. Safety is also at the top of the list of priorities: at REMONDIS’ request, IVECO has installed a turning assist system. A screen is activated in the A pillar when the indicator is turned on, enabling the drivers to check their blind spot.
REMONDIS is one of the world’s largest privately owned recycling, service and water companies and provides services to around 30 million people. Via its branches and associated companies, REMONDIS operates in countries across four continents including 24 European countries, China, India, Taiwan, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Australia. Founded in 1934, this family-run business has a workforce of around 33,000 employees and an annual turnover of 7.3 billion euros (2017). REMONDIS offers a wide range of services and products, all helping to ensure there will continue to be reliable supplies of water and raw materials in the future.
Iveco is a brand of CNH Industrial N.V, a leading international capital goods company that – together with its global workforce of 21,000 employees – designs, manufactures and markets an extensive range of light, medium and heavy commercial vehicles. Its product portfolio consists of the Daily, a vehicle covering the 3 to 7 tonne range, the Eurocargo (6 to 18 tonnes), the Trakker for off-road work and the Stralis range, both over 16 tonnes. Its portfolio also includes the Iveco Astra brand, which focuses on heavy duty dump trucks and special vehicles. Further information can be found at: www.iveco.com // for CNH Industrial at: www.cnhindustrial.com
“GVG Rhein-Erft, Hürth; Gasversorgungsgesellschaft mbH Rhein-Erft (GVG Rhein-Erft) is a public private partnership based in the German town of Hürth-Hermülheim that supplies energy to its region, i.e. to the Rhein-Erft District and the north, west and south districts of Cologne.” . Established in 1956, the company employs around 100 people. Operating its own gas network (approx. 1,670km in length), GVG Rhein-Erft delivers approx. 1.4 billion kWh of natural gas to its approx. 84,000 customers in the Rhein-Erft District and Cologne every year. Moreover, GVG also supplies hydroelectricity to the towns of Erftstadt, Bergheim, Bedburg, Elsdorf and Kerpen under its “erftpower” brand. The company’s focus is on offering fair prices and a dedicated customer service. GVG Rhein-Erft is tireless in its efforts to drive forward the use of renewable energy in its region – looking to increase renewable energy production and grow energy efficiency.
Zukunft ERDGAS e.V. is an initiative set up by the German gas industry that promotes natural gas as both a brand and a product. Working closely with its industry members, Zukunft ERDGAS is calling on consumers, politicians and its business partners to make the very most of natural gas – highlighting the many opportunities that this source of energy can offer in the future. Zukunft ERDGAS is financed by leading gas companies and supported by a variety of trade associations and manufacturers of heaters.