The Spanish automaker hopes the renewable gas will become a real alternative to CNG.
“Getting gas” could soon take on a whole new meaning if Seat’s latest project takes off. The Spanish automaker has teamed up with local water management company Aqualia for the Smart Green Gas project, which is developing biomethane fuel generated from sewage. You can put that in cruder terms yourself!
Pilot production has begun at a water treatment plant in Jerez. The fuel can be used in any vehicle capable of running on compressed natural gas; Aqualia will run a pair of Seat Leon TGI cars to prove the whole chain from origin to use is viable.
Being generated from sewage, there is a theoretically never-ending supply of biomethane, which could be produced on a highly localized basis. CNG, on the other hand, is a byproduct of oil production, and therefore non-renewable.
Biomethane also reduces tailpipe carbon dioxide emissions by up to 80 percent.
According to Seat, the project “constitutes a step forward in the development of a circular economy and the construction of resilient cities.”
In other words, it could help relatively small areas ensure their own energy security without relying in national power companies and international oil companies.
Seat’s research and development head, Matthias Rabe, said: “With this development and collaboration project Aqualia, Seat has become the first brand in the [Spanish] automotive sector to use 100 percent Spanish biomethane obtained from waste water.
“Fostering the creation of renewable alternative fuels, which help promote future environmental improvements and the long-term use of vehicles in cities are an integral part of Seat’s CNG strategy.”
“Developing the Smart Green Gas project with a medium-sized waste water treatment plant could potentially lead to the daily production of a million liters of biofuel, enough to power more than 300 vehicles. This would enable cities to fuel their network of urban buses, bin lorries, police cars or ambulances, among others,” added Aqualia director general Felix Parra.