Cologne to collect waste without CO2 emissions with biogas vehicles

October 23, 2020. As part of a quiet, low-emission, CO2-neutral transportation logistics system, around 100 commercial biogas vehicles will be in service in the German area of Cologne in the coming years. This was announced by the project partners, the city of Cologne waste management company (AWB), AVG Kompostierung GmbH, GVG Rhein-Erft, REMONDIS Rheinland and RheinEnergie AG, at the end of October. The groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a new biogas filling station in the north of Cologne has now marked the beginning.

Calculated over a 15-year operating time, the project partners estimate that the biogas station will save around 31,000 tons of greenhouse gases. Fine dust emissions will be reduced by almost 95% and noise emissions will also be reduced by 5 decibels compared to conventionally powered vehicles.

The roles in the project are clearly distributed: RheinEnergie is the operator of the biogas station; GVG Rhein-Erft, which has owned a similar facility in Hürth since 2019, is responsible for its management. AWB and REMONDIS Rheinland are the operators of the disposal vehicle fleet and collect bio-waste. AVG, in turn, operates the composting and fermentation plant, from which the vehicle’s propulsion energy is generated.

“We are building a bridge to the future and combining the energy and mobility sectors with new sustainable concepts,” explains Dr. Dieter Steinkamp, ​​CEO of RheinEnergie AG.

“At AWB, sustainable propulsion technologies have long been the focus. Sweepers with electric or natural gas motors are already used for city cleaning. Currently, electromobility is out of the question in the heavy commercial vehicle sector, as suitable units that are ready for series production are not available on the market”, adds Ulrich Gilleßen, CEO of AWB. “With the operation of gas garbage collection vehicles, the AWB manages to close the cycle through the collection of bio-waste, its fermentation, as well as the production of biogas by AVG and the use of gas for vehicular propulsion. In this way, the units can be operated with almost no CO2 emissions.”

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