BioCNG, key solution to decarbonize Canadian public transport

The Canadian Urban Transit Research & Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC) announced the publication of a research report that studies an alternative solution to carbon intensive, diesel-powered vehicles. This report explores a cleaner and cheaper transit solution using renewable natural gas as a fuel to operate CNG buses.

The Renewable Natural Gas as a Complementary Solution to Decarbonization report reveals the feasibility of this fuel in five North American transit agency fleets, including Calgary Transit, Hamilton Street Railway, Riverside Transit Agency, TransLink and one more Californian agency. With production offsetting both tailpipe and human activity-related emissions, biomethane has the potential of being zero-carbon and carbon-negative.

“Decarbonizing mobility will require that humanity uses many different tools and solutions to forge the path forward to a zero-emission future. Different technologies offer different types of benefits. Renewable natural gas can be one of those solutions. Alongside battery-electric buses and hydrogen fuel cell buses, renewable natural gas-fueled buses have been shown to help reduce emissions overall from transit buses,” said Josipa Petrunic, President & CEO of CUTRIC.

As transit is one of the most common modes of transportation in larger cities, utilizing biomethane in transit fleets can contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change, while also maintaining operational costs compared to diesel, battery-electric buses, and hydrogen fuel cell buses.

CNG buses are already an established technology across Europe and North America. Converting the fuel they combust from fossil fuel sources to renewable sources is an incremental innovation with substantial environmental benefits. This report provides thorough research and steps needed to leverage this technology in Canada. 

“Renewable natural gas may turn out to be an untapped source of immediate greenhouse gas emissions savings for transit agencies that are already reliant on CNG buses,” Petrunic said.

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