Greenlane Biogas - a subsidiary of Pressure Technologies plc

Temporary vehicle refuelling station for local authority demonstration


All UK cities have to work towards achieving the Government’s targets for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions as part of a Low Emissions Strategy.

In Spring 2010, Sheffield became one of the very first cities in the UK to use a mobile gas filling station to fuel commercial vehicles. This was the result of a lease agreement between Chesterfield BioGas Ltd and the City Council, for trialling some of its light vehicles, including VW Caddy Ecofuel vans, over a period of 6 months to establish how such a system could contribute to meeting its clean air quality targets.

The gas was supplied under high pressure in a special multi-cylinder road trailer built to the specification of Chesterfield Biogas by its sister company, Chesterfield Special Cylinders Ltd, and conformed fully to national bulk gas transport regulations.

This was established at one of the council’s vehicle depots where it was linked to a refuelling module, also supplied by Chesterfield BioGas. The module partially decompressed the gas and dispensed it at a pressure of 3 bar through a pump to the vehicles. Minimal groundworks were required prior to installation, while a straightforward electricity supply was needed to run the refuelling pump.

A card reader and data logger within the module enabled accurate records to be kept of the amount and frequency of dispense, vehicle by vehicle. The level of emissions was closely monitored to establish and compare the performance with other schemes operating around the world. For example, most of Stockholm’s buses have been running for several years on biomethane produced from the city’s household waste.

Vehicles operating on gas included VW Caddy light vans. These were converted for dual fuel operation but, increasingly, vehicle manufacturers around the world are producing models designed from the outset to run on gas.

During the demonstration period, the bulk trailer was refuelled on a few occasions and was simply hitched up and driven away at the close of the trial. Similarly, the refuelling module could be lifted and re-used.

In common with a number of vehicle trials being conducted by local authorities using alternative vehicle fuels, the findings of this project are being used to assess well-to-wheel savings and vehicle energy consumption for the equivalent mileage costs per gallon costs using fossil fuels.

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