Wastewater grown algae powers Volkswagen in Spain

June 28, 2016
The first Volkswagen vehicle that will be powered by algae biogas has been presented to the All-gas project at the wastewater treatment plant  of El Torno Chiclana...

CHICLANA, Spain – The first Volkswagen vehicle that will be powered by algae biogas has been presented to the All-gas project at the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) of El Torno Chiclana.

As part of the project, biogas is created at the Chiclana WWTP through microalgae cultivation whereby microalgae feeds on organic wastewater sent to the facility for treatment (read article).

The Volkswagen Up! vehicle can run on compressed natural gas (CNG) as well as biogas, as tested by the All-gas team.

The vehicle’s engine generates zero emissions, according to Spanish firm Aqualia who is running the trial, as well as an emergency fuel tank if a gas refuelling station cannot be reached.

It was in August 2013 when the All-gas project announced that the first batch of its algae biomass had been successful grown (read WWi article).

Frank Rogalla, director of technology & innovation, Aqualia, said: “For the first time in the history of humanity a car will be fueled with a full batch of algae biogas. This is the culmination of five years of hard work and a very proud moment for Aqualia. The way this algae is cultivated is twice as productive per hectare as other biofuels. This means it is a fuel with a positive energy balance, and therefore significant commercial viability.”


Read more

Algae biofuel: Could it eliminate the need for wastewater aeration?

First algae harvest at wastewater biofuel All-Gas project in Spain

About the Author

Tom Freyberg

Tom Freyberg is an experienced environmental journalist, having worked across a variety of business-to-business titles. Since joining Pennwell in 2010, he has been influential in developing international partnerships for the water brand and has overseen digital developments, including 360 degree video case studies. He has interviewed high level figures, including NYSE CEO’s and Environmental Ministers. A known figure in the global water industry, Tom has chaired and spoken at conferences around the world, from Helsinki, to London and Singapore. An English graduate from Exeter University, Tom completed his PMA journalism training in London.

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