Truck at Shell Station refuelling with BioLNG

BioLNG Deep Dive

As a 100% biofuel, biomethane liquified natural gas (bioLNG) is helping to accelerate the decarbonisation of heavy-duty road freight, allowing trucks to drive longer distances while emitting fewer CO₂ emissions.

Image collage including images for cows in field, Shell forecourt with Shell LNG offer,  with the Shell BioLNG logo

What is BioLNG?

BioLNG is derived from renewable resources, such as organic waste, not from fossil resources, making it a 100% biofuel. That is why bioLNG makes it possible to reduce CO2 emissions in the short term with chemical properties practically identical to that of liquified natural gas (LNG). The fuel also has lower nitrogen emissions compared to diesel, and cleaner combustion ensures that there is hardly any emission of particulates.

One example of a source for bioLNG is biogas from animal manure and sewage sludge or green waste. Such biogas contains 30-45% CO2, H2S and other compounds that need to be removed and upgraded to high-quality biomethane; only then can it be liquefied to bioLNG at a temperature of minus 162 degrees Celsius.

All of this makes bioLNG an ideal fuel for the heavy-duty road freight sector, because of its increased energy density when compared to conventional diesel. And since it is so chemically similar, it can be used in existing LNG heavy-duty vehicles without the need for any equipment alteration. 

Benefits of BioLNG for the Road Freight industry

  • Performance benefits

    BioLNG can provide both economic and environmental benefits for truck owners and operators, offering customers the potential to have net-zero emission logistics, at competitive and affordable prices, without compromising performance.

  • Drop-in fuel

    Since the chemical properties of LNG and bioLNG are almost identical, moving from one to the other is a simple switch. For LNG users, bioLNG becomes a drop-in fuel, with no need to change or refit equipment.

  • Cleaner fuel

    Produced from renewable, organic waste and with carbon dioxide separated and captured for re-use, the well-to-wheel emissions of bioLNG makes it practically a carbon neutral fuel, with the potential to even be carbon negative in some cases.

  • Sustainability driver

    With road freight businesses facing more and greater pressure to meet societal and governmental sustainability targets, bioLNG – as a renewable fuel – can help progress these goals. CO2

  • Growing infrastructure

    With an increasing number of LNG trucks on the road, infrastructure is growing to help road freight fleets take advantage of the benefits of bioLNG, including a pan-European network of 39 Shell LNG refuelling sites on the TEN-T corridor, plus additional sites.

Aerial view of cows grazing in a green field

Shell BioLNG Offer

Shell BioLNG is produced from 100% sustainable biomass sources and feedstock selections and meets the criteria set out by the European Union’s revised Renewable Energy Directive (REDII). In doing so, it has a lower carbon intensity than LNG and is a sustainable product that contributes to the circular economy.

In June 2021, we offered 100% bioLNG to a few customers and key shippers for one year in Germany. This collaboration was to pilot bioLNG and to prepare for scaling it further into the European market. This bioLNG enables a CO2 reduction of approximately 85%. Three months into the pilot the results have shown Shell BioLNG can reduce CO2 emissions above the EU target of at least a 55% reduction by 2030.

Shell BioLNG will come from the Nordsol BioLNG plant that was subsidised by the EU. From October 2021, Shell will offer a partial blend of bioLNG to its entire network in the Netherlands, which will allow for further carbon reduction to all customers (approximately 30%). And by January 2023, Shell will offer full bioLNG to all LNG networks in Germany, from the liquefaction plant in the Rhineland.

By helping the European supply network to gear up in this way, Shell is working to mature its supply of bioLNG to further scale it to the entire network.

Nordsol’s bio-LNG plant in the Netherlands

Shell and the BioLNG EuroNet Consortium

The European LNG heavy-duty vehicle market is becoming increasingly dynamic, with sales continually rising and an ever-expanding range of models. For example, by 2030, the Natural bio Gas Vehicle Association (NGVA Europe) expects that 280,000 LNG trucks will be on the roads, representing at least 25% of the market share.1

This fleet of LNG trucks will require approximately 100 TWh fuel in 2030, with at least 40% being represented by bioLNG – growth that will need to be supported by the constant development of LNG infrastructure and stations across the world.2

Which is why Shell is part of the BioLNG EuroNet consortium – a collection of companies, including DISA, Scania, IVECO and Nordsol, working to put 2,000 more LNG-powered trucks on the roads, as well as building the LNG service stations and production facilities needed to support these journeys.

The BioLNG EuroNet project brings these major industry players together working to facilitate the mass scale adoption of LNG as a road fuel in Europe and help the EU meet its 2050 goal of a 60% reduction in CO2 emissions.

Find out more on https://biolngeuronet.eu/

1 European Biogas Association, Gas Infrastructure Europe, The Natural & bio Gas Vehicle Association Europe, SEA-LNG. “BioLNG in Transport: Making Climate Neutrality a Reality.” EuropeanBioGas.eu. November 23, 2020. (https://www.europeanbiogas.eu/biolng-in-transport-making-climate-neutrality-a-reality/).

2 European Biogas Association, Gas Infrastructure Europe, The Natural & bio Gas Vehicle Association Europe, SEA-LNG. “BioLNG in Transport: Making Climate Neutrality a Reality.” EuropeanBioGas.eu. November 23, 2020. (https://www.europeanbiogas.eu/biolng-in-transport-making-climate-neutrality-a-reality/).

Shell BioLNG Customers

As bioLNG adoption grows across Germany, we are supplying Shell BioLNG to three road haulage customers as part of a pilot project. See why the customers chose to get involved and discover why they think bioLNG will help them meet their business goals.

“Our vehicles operate primarily and frequently in highly polluted inner cities. By using LNG or even bioLNG, we are already considerably reducing these pollution values…We are therefore delighted to participate in this pilot project to show what this advanced biofuel can contribute."

EDEKA Minden-Hannover

Shell BioLNG FAQ

Have questions about Shell BioLNG? From refuelling instructions to safety measures, discover the facts that matter and find the answers to the most commonly asked questions when it comes to bioLNG.

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