AP5 - High pressure biogas systems for vehicles

Upgraded biogas taken from the natural gas grid is suitable to be used for stationary and mobile applications. In a first step, the target market for the upgraded biogas which is transported via the natural gas grid (“virtual biogas”) is the CNG-vehicle sector. The profitability in this market can be reached more easily because of the high taxes on the competing product (diesel). Additionally, according to the Biofuels Directive of the European Union and the Austrian “Kraftstoffverordnung” (fuels directive) the share of biofuels in the market has to be increased.

One problem is the very low market share of gas-powered vehicles nowadays (around 0,01%). One of the reasons for this is the low cruising range of these vehicles (about 300km with one filling). Therefore, the gas pressure shall be increased to 300bar, resulting in a higher gas storing capacity and in an improvement of the cruising range of about 30%.

The obvious solution to increase the wall thickness of the gas containers to allow for higher gas pressures is infeasible because of the higher weight which cannot be placed in a conventional passenger car anymore. Therefore, the gas containers have to be manufactured using lighter materials (e.g. aluminium, fiber-reinforced plastic material). Materials and manufacturing processes suitable for the secure and reproducible manufacturing of these gas containers have to be developed as well as the basic knowledge on these topics.

For a secure fuel-filling of vehicles with different pressure-stages (old vehicles as well as new vehicles with higher system pressure) new fuel dispenser systems have to be developed to avoid fuel-filling with to high pressures – “intelligent fuel dispenser”.