Blog: Turning farmyard waste into fuel

Chairman Winston Reed discusses the future potential for biomethane-powered HGVs and how the take up could benefit farmers, supermarket bosses and most importantly, the environment. 


Although it may sound like a magic trick, being able to turn farmyard manure into fuel is in fact a real process, and one that is actually being used right now to power HGVs across the country. This development will change the future of transport in the UK, and will turn what was once a carbon-heavy industry into a much more sustainable one.


The Department for Transport has reported that HGV traffic has grown on average by 2.5% per year for the last four years, and with most HGV traffic currently running on diesel, the rise in carbon emissions is only going to get greater unless we find a cleaner alternative. Biomethane generated through AD could fuel 80% of heavy goods vehicles, significantly reducing carbon emissions.


Farmyard waste such as manure, crops and slurry, as well as consumer waste such as food can all be used in the digesters to generate biomethane. Rather than sending that waste to landfill, we can use it to create a green, sustainable resource – saving the environment at the same time.  


Waitrose announced last month that 10 of their new delivery trucks will be powered by biomethane, made using food waste through anaerobic digestion (AD). The potential for using biomethane as fuel has plenty of benefits; it reduces carbon emission by 70%, as well as NOx by 35% and particulates by 95%. It also works out far cheaper in the long run, with Waitrose claiming that each truck will save around £20,000 over three years.


At Greener for Life we believe that by 2020 we could be in a position to fuel 20 million road miles by HGVs. With supermarkets such as Waitrose taking the first steps into a cleaner alternative for fuelling their trucks, we hope to see the uptake of using biomethane as fuel for HGVs rise over the next few years, so we can really take advantage of this untapped potential within the UK.