Up-cycling – Wouldn’t it be nice to create something completely new from garbage? It is a question that the automaker SEAT raised with Aqualia, the water management member of FCC, one of Europe’s leading services groups.
To find an answer, SEAT and Aqualia have joined forces to develop the innovative SMART Green Gas project, which aims to produce completely Spanish renewable biofuel from wastewater for vehicles powered by compressed natural gas (CNG).
Said Dr. Matthias Rabe, SEAT Vice-President for R&D: “With this development and collaboration project with Aqualia, SEAT has become the first brand in the country’s automotive sector to use biomethane obtained from wastewater.”
To kick off their five-year collaboration both companies began in November to perform pilot tests in the wastewater treatment plant located in Jerez de la Frontera (Cádiz). SEAT has provided Aqualia with two SEAT Leon TGI vehicles that will be used to conduct testing with the biomethane obtained from the wastewater. These tests will confirm and verify the entire production chain until the fuel is obtained and used. The process of obtaining biogas from treated water is based on several R&D developments by Aqualia.
This joint project constitutes a step forward in the development of a circular economy and the construction of resilient cities. In addition, it will help drive research and the creation of alternative fuels in the Spanish automotive sector by producing renewable, totally local gas. As a result, CO2 emissions can be reduced “well to wheel” compared with petrol-powered vehicles.
Said Dr. Matthias Rabe: “Fostering the creation of renewable alternative fuels that help to promote future environmental improvements and the long-term use of vehicles in cities are an integral part of SEAT’s CNG strategy.”