A woman recycling in one of the containers outside a Repsol service station

Read time: 5 min

Transforming waste into low-carbon-footprint combustible gases reduces the amount of garbage that ends up in landfills, which has a positive impact on the environment, is part of the Circular Economy process, and plays a vital role in the decarbonization process.

Biogas is a type of gas obtained from industrial waste produced by food processing, agriculture, and stock breeding. Wherever there are biodegradable organic materials (that decompose), it's possible to obtain this biofuel.

In nature, waste equals nutrients. Biogas follows the same example as it represents a renewable resource whose origin is precisely organic waste.

In urban environments, a large amount of biodegradable waste is also created, which is collected in the organic waste bin: fruit peels, egg shells, coffee grounds, etc.

Using this waste as a raw material and others such as the sludge produced by wastewater treatment plants (WWTP), it's possible to produce biogas and give it a variety of uses.

For example, this biofuel can be used in city buses. It's also possible to mix it with natural gas to feed boilers, kitchens, heating, etc. It can even be used as fuel for electricity generators.

Close-up of some cows

In Spain, there is also great potential for producing biogas.

Stock breeding and agriculture have a strong presence in Spain and produce large amounts of waste.

 

Therefore, there's a great available of waste that can be converted into biogas.

The port of Bilbao will be the home to one of our most ground-breaking circular economy initiatives in the field of biogas: A plant that generates this eco-fuel from urban waste. 

As Vicente Bernal, Senior Scientist at our research center, explains about the plant that we plan on building to generate biogas from urban waste, “The project allows us to obtain a low-carbon footprint gas that will be used as fuel at the Petronor refinery, which will avoid greenhouse gas emissions and help to reduce the carbon footprint of the processes”.

With this project, we're aligning ourselves with our commitment to be a net zero emissions company by 2050, the European Union decarbonization goals, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The target of this initiative is to use 10,000 tonnes of urban waste a year, reaching 100,000 tonnes in the future. 

Everyone can be part of this circular economy process. It is only necessary to separate your waste for recycling. In this way, you can contribute to this cycle and to the generation of sustainable, renewable energy.

 Circular economy is much more than a recycling process. It's a virtuous circle in which not only is waste given a new life, but we also reduce its impact on the environment and create new economic opportunities.