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  5. SEAT participates in a new European project

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SEAT participates in a new European project to generate biomethane from waste

  • The company is going to test the biofuel obtained from municipal landfills in its vehicles
  • The project is scheduled to run until 2023 and will be funded with a total budget of 4.6 million euros

SEAT is going to participate until 2023 in the Life Landfill Biofuel project, which was recently approved by the European Commission, whose goal is to obtain renewable gas from municipal landfills. The aim is to achieve more efficient management by obtaining biomethane from an indigenous, abundant energy source. The project will be developed with other partners for the next four years and has an overall budget of 4.6 million euros, of which the European Commission will fund 55%.

Andrew Shepherd, who is responsible for SEAT’s renewable gas projects, emphasised that “this project will enable us to make headway in the development and research into biomethane as a fuel. Our ultimate aim is to guarantee zero environmental impact for CO2 emissions in the entire life cycle of vehicles.”

With the goal of boosting the circular economy, energy efficiency and emissions reduction, SEAT is currently working on the Life Methamorphosis project to obtain biomethane from previously selected waste and animal slurry from a farm in Lleida. The new Life Landfill Biofuel project is a step further as the raw material originates directly from the landfill, without prior separation.

The European Union is going to limit to 10% the amount of municipal waste that can be dumped in landfills by 2035. For this reason, converting waste into vehicular biofuel is one solution to this environmental challenge. Other organisations also participating in this new project include FCC, IVECO, The University of Granada, the CARTIF Foundation, SYSADVANCE and Gasnam. Furthermore, SEAT has also developed a similar project with Aqualia to convert waste water into biofuel.

An opportunity for sustainable economic development

There are close to half a million landfill sites in Europe, so the development and research into the operating procedures to obtain biomethane from waste represents a business opportunity to convert waste into a source of energy, which at the same time would contribute to lowering environmental emissions.

In this sense, there is great potential in establishing certificates of origin for the production of biomethane. This system would facilitate the development of the industry in Spain, as it is being done in other European Union countries, and being able to transfer these certificates among sectors would open up several opportunities to the transport industry.

Benchmark of compressed natural gas (CNG)

SEAT is the European carmaker with the broadest range of vehicles fuelled with compressed natural gas (CNG), with four models produced in the company’s plant in Martorell: the Leon, the Leon Sportourer, the Ibiza and the Arona, the only CNG SUV in the world. In 2018, the company tripled its sales of CNG Vehicles and announced an investment of 6 million euros to expand the capacity of the Martorell factory, raising the daily production figure of gas fuelled vehicles from 90 to 250. So far this year, the company has increased sales of its CNG vehicles in Europe by 13% over the previous year with 11,800 units sold. In addition, SEAT is the Volkswagen Group’s centre of excellence for the technological development of compressed natural gas as an alternative fuel.