Biofuels make the bus industry emission-free
After the bus industry increasingly replaced diesel with biofuels, the greenhouse gas emissions have been reduced by more than 60 percent. This means that the bus industry’s emissions of approx. 400,000 tons of CO2 in year 2014, have been reduced to less than 150,000 tons of CO2 in the year 2021.
Experts agree that liquid biofuels are key to ensure sustainability in transport industry. Nevertheless, we see electricity and various forms of electrification take up a large part of the public debate.
Especially for long-distance transport and various parts of the industry, electricity has its clear challenges.
The bus industry has taken action
Biofuels is suffering from less attention than for example «the green power », and the consequence is that we are far from having achieved a similar standard for how biomass is best transformed into a liquid fuel.
This means that the market for biofuels today is fragmented, and utilization and development of the potential has largely been left to individual industries and public individual projects. Much good has been said and promised, but development is slow, and the framework conditions are perceived as uncertain.
The bus industry is an example of an industry that has acted.
The bus Norwegian industry association «NHO Transport» ordered a report on fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions for the bus industry in Norway, and the results show a significant decrease in greenhouse gas emissions over the last few years.
In light of the report the bus industry has increasingly replaced diesel with biofuels, and the greenhouse gas emissions have been reduced by more than 60 %, from approximately 400,000 tons of CO2 in year 2014, to less than 150,000 tons of CO2 in the year 2021. The bus drivers also report less noise and generally positive experiences.
Furthermore, the NHO-report concludes that the transition from biofuels to electric buses will not reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Norway.
An example to follow
The bus industry is not unique, and the example illustrates the current scope in the use of biological resources.
It also shows that even though we are not on target with the zero-emission technology, it will have a great effect to use the technology we have- while we wait. The example of the bus industry shows a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of five- to six years of far more than 50 %.
If we are to reach the goal of zero-emission technology, we must go the way through low-emission solutions before we land the perfect formula.
Gas has the potential to reduce greenhouse gases more than any other fuel
Even better technology is made available to the market, and by the year 2030 we hope to be able to use gas which is 100 % renewable and 100 % emission-free. It will make a huge contribution to the emissions accounting worldwide.
It is still no good solution to sit on the fence to wait. There are already several alternatives that will reduce the greenhouse gas emissions significantly, and we must introduce these in parallel with working towards zero-emission technology.
In other words, several industries must follow the example of the bus industry.
When it comes to renewable- and emission-free alternatives in the world of the natural gas, biogas is the technology where we have made the most progress. The technology is already used in the marked today in both heating and transport (for instance as a fuel for buses).
Biogas consists mainly of methane which is formed by decomposition of new biological material, with little or no access to oxygen.
Biogas can be made from all types of organic materials such as food waste, sewage sludge, manure, residues from industry, fish sludge – to name a few.
During combustion (in use), biogas is considered as climate neutral, i.e. zero emissions of harmful greenhouse gases during use.
Biogas has a great potential in several industries, and in combination with natural gas it is a good low-emission alternative today.
Another exiting alternative for the development of zero-emission fuel for the long-distance shipping industry is hydrogen, either made from natural gas or from electric power.
One often distinguishes between so-called green and blue hydrogen. Blue hydrogen is produced from natural gas by capture of CO2, while green hydrogen is produced by electrolysis and the use of renewable electricity.
The day we get heavy-duty long-haul ships running on hydrogen, we are facing a possible revolution in emissions accounting worldwide. Unfortunately, this seems to be far into the future. Hydrogen is an element with very low energy density, which means that it must be stored in liquid form on board under very low temperatures (- 252 0C).
Therefore some suggest that hydrogen should rather be used as a raw material to make other renewable gases that are both easier to transport and use onboard.
Ammonia is such a gas with great renewable potential. Ammonia consists of hydrogen and nitrogen atoms.
When hydrogen is produced by electrolysis from renewable electricity, the ammonia can be called green. Green ammonia can in the long run be a very good alternative to oil. Ammonia has some issues because it is highly toxic and corrosive. Compared to LNG, Ammonia will also demand more space onboard due to less energy density.
Renewable (or syntetic) LNG is produced by mixing renewable hydrogen with renewable CO2, resulting in methane gas + water. Such production of renewable gas is already done today in plants in Europe. Renewable LNG has several benefits compared to Ammonia and Hydrogen. It has an established value chain, well established rules – and regulations, it is available “all over the place”, and can seamlessly be blended with biogas and fossil LNG.
What is Gasnor doing?
There is an incredible amount of good work being done to achieve renewable alternatives to gas production, and Gasnor is among the participants working hard to achieve renewable zero-emission solutions.
We have already taken the step into the climate-neutral world by supplying biogas, which is a renewable and sustainable gas.
We also use large resources to establish and build a value chain for hydrogen and other gases that can provide zero emissions in use.
Since the year 1989, we have innovated the energy market by challenging traditional fuels with cleaner and more environmentally friendly solutions. Gasnor works to increase the awareness of natural gas as a low-emission technology in the short term, and gas as a zero-emission technology in the longer term.