CNG Fuels to use manure to offer UK’s first net zero fuel for HGVs  

CNG Fuels plans on becoming the UK’s first supplier of carbon neutral fuel for HGVs, as the company announced that from 2021 it will use manure to help fleet operators achieve net zero emissions.

The company, based just outside Birmingham, is also consulting on how its network of refuelling stations can best accommodate low-carbon hydrogen and battery electric technologies for HGVs, so that it can support customers when these become commercially viable.

Philip Fjeld, CEO of CNG Fuels, said: “We want to help decarbonise freight transport and enable fleet operators to meet net zero targets now, supporting the UK’s climate targets. Renewable biomethane sourced from manure is currently the best low-carbon solution for HGVs, but we want to be ready to support our customers when other technologies are commercially viable for freight transport.”

Andy Eastlake, MD of the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) added: “With all the focus on electrification, the low carbon combustion fuels might be overlooked. But it is vital to remember that net zero can be delivered in a number of ways. The LowCVP welcome genuinely zero (or even negative) carbon solutions which exist here and now and we must accelerate the uptake of these fuel solutions, particularly in the more challenging operations such as heavy road vehicles where they can best displace fossil diesel.”

Manure gives off methane, a greenhouse gas far more powerful than carbon dioxide. Using methane as an HGV fuel prevents it from going into the atmosphere and reduces overall emissions. The EU’s revised Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) recognises biomethane from manure as a carbon negative fuel, and the UK is expected to adopt it in 2021 regardless of Brexit.

CNG Fuels is a leading supplier of Bio-CNG (compressed natural gas) fuel in the UK, 100 per cent sourced from renewable biomethane and approved under the Department for Transport’s Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) scheme. It is the lowest-carbon, most cost-effective alternative to diesel for HGVs.

The company currently sources biomethane from food waste but it is in the process of securing supplies of biomethane from manure to create a fuel that will be net zero emissions on a well-to-wheel basis. It expects to begin offering carbon neutral biomethane from 2021 at the same price as the renewable biomethane fuel it currently supplies.

HGVs account for 4.2 per cent of UK carbon emissions, so decarbonising the sector is essential to meet the UK’s goal of achieving Net Zero by 2050.

CNG Fuels is developing a nationwide network of public access HGV refuelling stations on major routes to reach fleet operators all over the UK. Stations are supplied with biomethane via the existing gas grid, compressing it into fuel at the point of delivery. Low processing, transportation and electricity costs make renewable biomethane a low-cost, clean solution.

This strategic network will be ideally placed to support battery electric and hydrogen powered HGVs in the future. The Committee on Climate Change expects battery electric or hydrogen-powered HGVs to play a major role in decarbonising freight transport from 2030 onwards.