Tata Motors has designed and developed bio-methane engines for light commercial vehicles (LCV), intermediate commercial vehicles (ICV) and medium commercial vehicles (MCV) buses.
It showcased country’s first Bio-CNG (Bio-Methane) bus at a Bio-Energy program, called ‘Urja Utsav’. The bus was launched by Union Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan. On the display at the event were three engines, Tata LPO 1613 bus, which features the top-spec 5.7 SGI NA BS-IV IOBD-II engine that makes 123 bhp and develops 405 Nm of peak torque. This is already operational at PMPML (Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited) in Pune city.
The difference between a regular CNG-powered engine and a bio CNG-powered is not very vast. While in CNG, the Methane gas co-exists with other heavier hydrocarbons (for which the end application Stoichiometry – air fuel ratio is not adjusted), Bio CNG has only Methane in it and thus it is also called as bio-Methane. Furthermore, this makes Bio CNG more application friendly and efficient than regular CNG.
Bio-Methane bus is a step towards developing environment-friendly vehicles. Bio-Methane is produced out of bio-degradable materials like kitchen waste. This gas, which gets produced out of natural degradation process, escapes into the atmosphere unused. However, if this is trapped and used in engines, it reduces the net impact on the environment and at the same time produces useful power.