Fueling Trucks with Biogas from Food Waste

Transport Company McCulla is one of the First Companies in Northern Ireland to Take the Leap from Fossil Fuel to Biogas with Pentair Upgrading Solution. 

LONDON – May 27, 2021 – Pentair (NYSE: PNR), a leading provider of water treatment and sustainable solutions, has been selected to deliver biogas upgrading and compressed natural gas (CNG) equipment to help fuel up to 40 CNG trucks for McCulla, a prominent refrigerated transport company in Northern Ireland.

Renewable gas to transport is gaining traction as a fast and cost effective way to decarbonize heavy goods vehicles (HGVs). Gas mobility is becoming an important driver in the race to reduce transport emissions by 2050. As stated in the European Union’s climate policy, greenhouse gas emissions from transport will need to be at least 60 percent lower than in 1990 and be firmly on the path towards zero. Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) is already available as a road fuel in many countries and according to The Natural & Bio Gas Vehicle Association (NGVA Europe), currently powers over 1.5 million vehicles in Europe.

Renewable or Bio-CNG is a greater step toward ideal sustainability. Organic waste in an anaerobic digester (AD) produces biogas. After the upgrade to biomethane, the gas has the same energy density as natural gas. McCulla Transport built an AD plant to generate biogas from food waste already in 2017. The gas fires a combined heat and power (CHP) plant that provides electricity for the company’s cold storage.

Chairman Ashley McCulla wanted to go further. In 2020 he decided to invest in CNG trucks and the installation to fuel them with homemade gas. “The goal was always to use the energy from the AD plant to power our logistics fleet as well. Now we’re honored to be part of a real industry first: In a partnership with Lidl Northern Ireland, we are committed to integrating sustainable new business practices.”

With a capacity of 450 m3 per hour, McCulla’s digester needs a relatively small-scale upgrading system. This is where the Pentair BioCompact system comes into play. The membrane-based BioCompact is delivered to site by truck after a fast-track fabrication time, ready to be connected and commissioned. Upstream and downstream equipment is already included. “Pentair has a 75-year track record for providing carbon capture and biogas upgrading solutions that help waste processing or water treatment plants, landfills, farmers and food processing companies to lower their carbon footprint and optimize their processes.” says Pentair specialist David Hynes. “This experience comes very handy when commissioning projects like these. We’re also installing the equipment for compressing the biomethane to CNG, as well as the filling station with fuel dispensers. The project was given the green light only six months ago and is a good example of how fast you can decarbonize your fleet.”

To learn more about Pentair Carbon Capture & Biogas Upgrading Solutions, visit biogas.pentair.com.