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Using bio-methane in the public bus fleet

Iasi

Iasi has adopted an energy management approach to urban waste. As part of this approach a demonstration will be carried out of recovering methane emissions from municipal landfill sites.

Implementing sustainable mobility

Recovering energy from waste can greatly help to curb emission problems, especially when used to power public transport such as buses. The aim of this measure is to go well beyond the EU Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) requirements and lay the foundations for the take-up of second generation bio-fuels and EEV vehicles. 

Iasi aims to prove that the usage of alternative fuels can contribute to citizens' quality of life by reducing pollution levels in areas of dense traffic. The introduction of alternative fuels in public transport can demonstrate that cleaner public transport is in direct connection with the improved health of citizens. By installing a recovery unit and liquefying equipment for methane emissions from the landfill, Iasi proves that other fuel resources can be successfully exploited.

The measure covers four tasks:

  • Study of emissions levels, looking at four strategic locations within the CIVITAS corridor and examining the impacts of bio-methane use in public transport on air quality from the study;
  • Bio-methane energy supply, installing recovery and liquefying equipment for methane emissions from the landfill;
  • Bio-methane-fuelled public transport, investing in modification of 30 vehicles in the PT bus fleet to operate them on bio-methane; and
  • Promotion of biofuels, launching a promotion campaign to demonstrate the impact of alternative fuels.
How did the measure progress?

Iasi modified 30 vehicles in the PTI bus fleet to operate on bio-methane. All buses have been finished by January 2011. After making the buses available to the public, TUI conducted a research study in Iasi to determine emission levels at four strategic locations within the CIVITAS corridor. The collected emissions data have been compared to the emissions data from a diesel bus, demonstrating the benefits of alternative fuel.

The promotion campaign for bio-fuels was finalized in Mai 2012.

The task "Biomethane energy supply" was cancelled.

What were the outcomes of the measure?

The conclusions of the study of emissions levels revealed that:
o the CO level decreased in 3 of 4 locations, with a maximum of 14% and a minimum of 4,2%;
o the NO2 level decreased in all 4 locations, recording a maximum decrease of 8,8% and a minimum of 6,5%;
o the PM level decreased in all 4 locations with maximum of 13% and a minimum of 7,2%.
Comparing the emissions generated by an LPG bus with those generated by a diesel-powered bus we noticed:
o a decrease of CO emissions with 42 %;
o a decrease of NO2 emissions with 26,5 %;
o a decrease of PM emissions with 34,02%;
o an increase of CO2 emissions with 26%.

Surveys were conducted to assess awareness level and quality of service indicators. The results showed that awareness level increased to 45% in 2012 compared to 19% recorded in 2009.
For the quality of service indicator we asked the respondents what impact pollutant emissions from public transport vehicles had on them, if the use of environmental-friendly public means of transport led to an improvement in quality of the transport service, what their perception regarding air quality in public transport stops is.

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