Running on carrots, onions and potatoes.
Skoda has a bunch of ‘G-TEC‘ models on offer in the European markets that run on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). However, the tanks can also be filled up with even cleaner biogas that is made from renewable raw materials including vegetable scraps. One of the largest biogas producers in Europe shares how it happens.
Austrian company EVM Biogas Margarethen takes these vegetable scraps (“biowaste”) and puts them into huge tanks, where bacteria are let loose to do their thing on it. The methane that gets produced during this process can’t be used directly as-is, as it contains contaminants like sulphur — especially if it is produced from onions, or CO₂. The methane goes through multi-phase purification process to meet the standards for public gas mains and gas-powered cars.
It’s not just vegetable scraps. The plant also uses stripped corn cobs and husks, horse manure, and even mown grass from its grounds.
In spring, when there were major restrictions due to COVID-19, we even had potatoes here that were originally intended for a fast food chain. – Lukas Malaschofsky of EVM Biogas Margarethen
Part of the gas generated goes into a refueling station on the edge of the site; part goes into a public gas pipe. The plant produces about 2,800,000 kg (6,172,943 lbs) of biogas a year. Not all the methane is sent through the purification process: some of it is fed into a generator that produces 5,200,000 kWh of electricity a year that is supplied to around 70 households in the area. Also, the material that was used as a source of methane production can subsequently be used as fertilizer, bringing the natural cycle to a full circle.
The Octavia G-TEC’s digital instrument cluster displays fuel consumption data with units in kilograms rather than the traditional litres per 100 kilometres. Read more about the Octavia G-TEC here.