NEW CNG trash truck to be on display at expo
For a peek at the City of Grand Junction’s new compressed natural gas (CNG) sanitation truck, come to the Energy Forum & Expo at Two Rivers Convention Center, 159 Main St. on Feb. 25. The truck will be in the parking lot from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.
The ultimate goal of the city’s plan is to use the methane gas produced at the Persigo Wastewater Treatment plant to power the city’s fleet vehicles, which would be a first in the United States. Right now, the methane gas is captured and flared off.
“In other areas, they’re using it to heat buildings or produce electricity,” said Terry Franklin, the city’s deputy director of utilities and street systems. “There are plants in Europe using it for transportation fuel, but nothing that we know of in the U.S.”
Xcel Energy is currently working on regulations with which the city will need to comply to transform waste methane into a usable fuel. The gas will need to be scrubbed and purified to meet certain standards, but the equipment needed to purify the methane won’t be ordered until some tariff issues are settled.
According to the City of Grand Junction website, the amount of methane captured at Persigo could equate to 142,000 gallons of gasoline per year and could result in a lower carbon dioxide emission of about 3 million pounds per year.
Because CNG vehicles burn fuel more cleanly than conventional trucks, they generally require fewer oil changes and have a longer life span.
The CNG sanitation trucks cost $30,000 more per vehicle, but city officials anticipate the trucks will be able to run longer to make up the added cost. CNG is a domestic product that cuts dependence on foreign oil. The city hopes it will also cut fueling costs by 30 percent.
The city built a CNG slow-fill fueling station for its fleet and hopes to have a private party join them in building a CNG fast-fill station that will be open to the public. On the slow-fill side, city vehicles will park and fill overnight.
When the Persigo portion of the project is complete and the city will be able to use waste gas to fuel its fleet, gas from Persigo will be transported to the CNG station for compression and distribution.