Source: the original version of this case study can be found here.
Waste management and recycling company Meerlanden located in Rijsenhout, the Netherlands, collects organic waste and uses it to produce biomethane. This renewable and sustainable variant of CNG gas is injected into the natural gas grid, and then used as fuel for Meerlanden's garbage trucks. An excellent example of a circular economy. TotalEnergies* realised a fast-fill biomethane refuelling station on the Meerlanden site.
Production of Biomethane
Biomethane, also known as green gas or bio-CNG, is produced by fermenting organic waste, such as vegetable, fruit and garden waste - in the case of Meerlanden - roadside grass or animal manure into biogas. This biogas is then upgraded or purified in a biogas treatment plant and converted into biomethane.
Biomethane to CNG
The biomethane, which has the same properties as natural gas, is then injected into the gas grid. The natural gas is subsequently extracted from the grid and compressed by means of a CNG installation to be used as transport fuel. Vehicles driving on biomethane emit significantly less CO2 and particulate matter than conventional fossil fuels.
50.000 tonnes of Organic Waste
At Meerlanden, approximately 50,000 tonnes of organic waste are fermented and then composted each year. Approximately 2.5 million cubic metres of biomethane are produced from this compost.
Today, more than half of Meerlanden’s 160+ vehicles drive on biomethane, including waste collection and rubbish bin trucks, delivery vans and a street sweeper. As a result, the Dutch raw materials and energy company has been performing its services almost entirely climate-neutral since 2016.
TotalEnergies and Meerlanden
TotalEnergies is co-owner of the biogas treatment plant and the biomethane gas grid injection point at Meerlanden. It has also built its own fast-fill biomethane refuelling station on the Meerlanden site.
Time-fill at night
In 2018, the number of Meerlanden vehicles driving on biomethane increased to such an extent that the existing refuelling station with two spaces was no longer sufficient. TotalEnergies solved this problem with a timefill installation.
With this installation, 14 CNG vehicles can be connected at the end of each working day and filled with biomethane at night. This process ensures that Meerlanden’s drivers can start their shift with a full tank, as well as refuel during the day.
* TotalEnergies acquired PitPoint in 2017. In January 2020, PitPoint was merged into the TotalEnergies organisation. This project was carried out under the brand name PitPoint.