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The potential of biomethane in replacing fossil fuels in heavy transport-a case study on Finland

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Details

Original languageEnglish
Article number4750
JournalSustainability
Volume11
Issue number17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2019
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Abstract

Electrification is a frequently discussed solution for reducing transport related carbon dioxide emissions. However, transport sectors such as aviation and heavy-duty vehicles remain dependent on on-board fuels. Here, biomethane is still a little exploited solution, and the case of heavy-duty vehicles is particularly underappreciated despite the recent technical advances and potentially notable emission reductions. This paper discusses the potential of biomethane in heavy-duty road transport in the case of Finland, where the utilization rate is low compared to the technical potential. To this end, the potential of biomethane production through both anaerobic digestion and gasification was calculated in three scenarios for the heavy-duty transport fleet, based on the literature values of biomethane potential and truck class fuel consumption. The authors find that approximately half of the heavy-duty transport in Finland could be biomethane fueled by 2030. The estimated production costs for biomethane (81-190 €/MWh) would be competitive with the current consumer diesel price (152 €/MWh). Utilizing the total biomethane potential in heavy-duty transport would furthermore decrease the respective carbon dioxide emissions by 50%. To accelerate the transition in the heavy-duty transport sector, a more comprehensive political framework is needed, taking into account both production and consumption.

Keywords

  • Anaerobic digestion, Biomethane, Carbon emission reduction, Finland, Heavy-duty transport, Renewable transport fuels, Transition, Wood gasification

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland