Decarbonising heavy-duty trucks is challenging due to high journey power and energy requirements. With a growing fleet of commercial vehicles in the UK, biomethane can provide significant reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions compared to fossil diesel. Methane is a potent GHG with a global warming potential (GWP) of 23–36, therefore reducing levels in the atmosphere can have a significant impact on climate change. There are a range of anthropogenic sources of methane that could be collected and processed to provide sustainable energy (upcycled), e.g., agricultural waste and the waste water system. This paper explores the impact of using upcycled methane in transport in South East England, evaluating local sources of anthropogenic methane and the environmental and economic impact of its use for a heavy-duty truck compared to fossil and battery electric alternatives. Analysis concludes that the use of upcycled methane in transport can provide significant reductions in lifecycle GHG emissions compared to diesel, fossil natural gas or battery electric trucks, and give net negative GHG emissions where avoided environmental methane emissions are considered. Furthermore, upcycling solutions can offer a lower cost route to GHG reduction compared to electrification.


  • Reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are urgently needed to mitigate the effects of climate change

  • If we return to our example towns and consider the energy system as a whole, under four scenarios: business as usual; compressed natural gas (CNG) truck using grid natural gas; battery electric truck; biomethane recovered from the environment and used to power an Liquefied natural gas (LNG) truck

  • The analysis in this paper shows that the use of environmental methane as a transport fuel could provide a cost-effective and sustainable enabler for rapid decarbonisation for heavy duty trucks

Read more



Reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are urgently needed to mitigate the effects of climate change. In the UK, the government has committed to continuously reduce emissions to net zero by 2050 This target will require significant change in all sectors and there is a particular focus on reducing emissions from transport as it makes the largest contribution of any sector (28% of UK GHG emissions in 2018) [1]. Electrification is expected to present a good route to decarbonisation for light-duty applications, assuming reductions in electricity grid carbon intensity. This route is challenging for heavy-duty vehicle applications due to high journey power and energy requirements, leading to large batteries which may limit payload thereby increasing operating costs, and the need for high power, rapid charging to meet vehicle utilisation requirements, potentially requiring a second offboard battery. A considerable challenge remains to meet power, durability and commercial requirements of the heavy duty market, which suggest that this solution may reach the market only in the medium to long term [2]


Full Text

Published Version
Open DOI Link

Get access to 115M+ research papers

Discover from 40M+ Open access, 2M+ Pre-prints, 9.5M Topics and 32K+ Journals.

Sign Up Now! It's FREE

Talk to us

Join us for a 30 min session where you can share your feedback and ask us any queries you have

Schedule a call