Cormac sources biomethane for HDV their fleets in Cornwall

Cornwall Council’s fleet service provider, Cormac, is sourcing biomethane for their HDV fleet from the county’s dairy farmers.

Cornwall - HDV fleet on biomethane
Source: Vanessa Kerr

This is an innovative local production model based on Bennamann Ltd.’s processing technology. The company’s decision to transition from diesel to biomethane has been driven by environmental considerations.

In particular, reducing their carbon footprint has been one of the biggest priorities. Furthermore, the Council’s Climate Emergency Declaration and ‘zero carbon Cornwall by 2030’ aspiration has influenced the company’s decision to switch to using renewable vehicle fuel.

Bennamann’s technology captures biogas that would otherwise escape to atmosphere as methane and nitrous oxide from manure slurry lagoons. This results in significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

Find out more about biomethane here:

The biogas is then upgraded to CBG (compressed biomethane) and LBM (liquefied biomethane). The process additionally captures CO2 for merchant sale (for example in the food and drink sector) and produces digestate as a fertilizer replacement. The biomethane production helps improve the sustainability of farmland management and demonstrates a local circular economy using agricultural waste to produce a range of bio-products.

Bennamann have commissioned the University of Exeter to undertake a life-cycle analysis exercise to accurately determine the carbon intensity of their biomethane supply chain.

Bennamann’s innovations include patented equipment to process, liquefy and store biomethane on the farm and proprietary engineering for lagoon enclosure and biogas o­ff-take.

Distribution models include:

  • using biomethane as a low carbon fuel for tractors
  • hyper-local off-farm supply
  • aggregation for local fleet use, such as in the case of Cormac
  • wider market participation in and out of the county

Initially, CBG is being provided to Cormac for use in road maintenance equipment (‘hot-box’ tar burner trailers). At the same time, LBM will be used in gas trucks that tow them. One highly novel aspect of this biomethane application is that Cornwall Council could be both an end-user, through Cormac, and the source of waste feedstock. Six out of fifty-eight tenant dairy farms with slurry lagoons on the Council Farm Estate are currently being studied for conversion to facilitate the biomethane production technology offered by Bennamann.

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