On June 1st, Professor Edmilson Moutinho dos Santos (Energy Policy and Economics Programme Coordinator) and researcher Thiago Brito (Project 25) visited LOGA – Environmental Logistics, one of the dealers for garbage collection in the city of São Paulo. The team was received by Yuri Oblitas, Maintenance Supervisor in the truck yard located in Jaguaré neighbourhood, near USP’s Gate 2.
The purpose of the visit was to see the garbage collection truck that works on 100% CNG. The vehicle, purchased from MAN (Volkswagen), was manufactured to run only CNG, and that’s why it is called ‘dedicated’. The engine, imported from Germany, consists of 6 cylinders, with 280hp and Allison’s automatic transmission.
As pictures show, in order to store the CNG, there are 6 steel cylinders, 3 three on each side of the vehicle, with a capacity of 25m3 each, totalling 150m3. This allows autonomy of 200km, which is enough for a full 6-hour shift. According to Yuri, the refuelling has been a problem, because it takes 28 minutes to fill all the tanks. In a larger fleet, this time may present a prohibitive restriction, since the filling is not done in Loga’s garage but in a commercial station near the yard. The team presented alternatives for faster recharge, but that would require Loga purchasing a its own compressor, which will be economically viable only if the fleet is larger.
Most of the fuel is not consumed for the vehicle’s traction, but to drive the trash compactor (manufacturer: Usimeca). Thus, Loga registers fuel consumption in litres per hour. For example, diesel garbage trucks consume about 7.63 L / hr. No consumption data per hour is available for CNG, but Project 25’s team will monitor the vehicle’s operational results.
When comparing the space occupied by the diesel tanks of conventional trucks, one can see that the CNG cylinders fit perfectly in the same space of these tanks. In addition, the CNG refuse truck’s cylinders can improve the vehicle’s weight distribution, relieving the load on the suspension, as long as the number of cylinders does not generate a load that compromises the transported waste capacity.
Loga also has small electric vehicles that are used to collect garbage in places where heavy vehicles are not allowed such as squares and promenades.
A new visit will be schedule in order to follow a work shift and the CNG truck refuelling.
By Thiago Brito
PhD Student at the Institute of Energy and Environment (USP). Researcher on RCGI’s Project 25. Background in International Relations