x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Gas emissions from Dubai sewage plant could be used to fuel vehicles

The project, which would involve capturing and cleaning gases from the Al Warsan plant that are currently flared, should be up-and-running within a year.

Dubai // Emissions from a sewage treatment plant in Dubai will soon be turned into bio-gas that can be used to power vehicles on the emirate’s roads.

The project, which involves capturing and cleaning gases from Al Warsan plant that are currently flared, should be up and running within a year, said Fazal Ali Khan, CNG development manager at Emirates Gas, a subsidiary of the Emirates National Oil Company (Enoc).

Mr Khan announced the plan to delegates at the first day of a conference on sustainable transportation held at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi as part of the month-long UAE Green Festival 2014.

He said that as well as utilising an unused source of energy, the project will provide vehicles with a fuel that is cleaner than petrol or diesel.

“There are no ifs any more, it is a question of when,” Mr Khan said. “The final paperwork is being sorted out between Enoc and Dubai Municipality.”

Mr Khan said the next step would be to design and build the facilities and the project, a partnership between Emirates Gas and Dubai Municipality that operates the sewage treatment plant, should be up and running by March next year.

Currently, the plant emits about 30,000 cubic metres of gases a day, of which a considerable amount is methane. To be used safely in vehicles, these gases need to be cleaned of hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide.

Once the process is complete, about 15,000 cubic metres of bio-gas will be available to use in vehicles. It takes about 10 cubic metres of bio-gas to fill a specially converted car, Mr Khan said.

After the gas is processed, it will be stored at what Mr Khan referred to as a “mother station” in Al Aweer. From there it will be compressed and distributed via special vehicles to several smaller stations throughout the emirate.

Although the price of bio-gas will be set by Emirates Gas at a lower rate than petrol per litre, bosses at the firm hope to make a profit from the project, Mr Khan said. The company currently offers 20,000 cubic metres of natural gas a day to Dubai’s transportation sector.

Although Al Warsan project will be a first for the region, tapping the emissions of sewage-treatment plants is common in Europe and North America, with the resulting bio-gas being pumped into natural gas distribution networks, Mr Khan said.

Taking place across the country, the UAE Green Festival 2014 will feature expert seminars, as well as art and fashion events, a green bazaar and a public showcase in Dubai of eco-friendly cars.

vtodorova@thenational.ae