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A Fiat Panda powered thanks to food waste: the BIOMETHAIR project

A Fiat Panda powered thanks to food waste: the BIOMETHAIR project
1/13/2016

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​A m​eeting point for 19 partners, including companies and the academic world from Piedmont, the Biomethair project entailed the construction of a prototype city car capable of extremely low CO2 emission, with a near-zero environmental impact. Through the creation of a new organic fuel production supply chain (bio-methane and bio-hydrogen) based on the conversion of biomass waste, a mobility system with “zero km” (locally sourced) energy and very low environmental impact was made possible.

The Fiat Panda used as the basic vehicle in the first leg of the project is fitted with a sophisticated and specific version of the “TwinAir” two-cylinder engine, which has been optimised for methane power. This incorporates within it a “mild hybrid” system, which makes it possible to optimise the energy management of the vehicle in order to minimise consumption and emission levels further. 

​In the second leg of the project, we thought of innovative solutions for storing compressed gas, with light-weight cylinders with a high-resistance steel core and enveloped with carbon fibre. These were then incorporated underneath the vehicle flatbed without reducing the capacity of the luggage compartment. The third leg of the project led to the construction, at the technological pole of ACEA Pinerolese, of a system for the organic production of methane and hydrogen, based on anaerobic digestion process of biomass waste, and the subsequent purification of the gas produced. Mixing the two gases together made it possible to reduce total CO2 emissions by 32%. 

​The production of bio-methane and bio-mixtures is a major breakthrough in the search for environmental and economic sustainability. The solution proposed within the same territory not only offers technological expertise in the motoring and vehicle industry, but also leads to the possibility of auto-producing its own fuel, one that is clean and renewable, according to a supply chain that is entirely “zero km” (locally sourced).​

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