Slurry powered milk trucks; is this the future?

Farmers in Sweden are contributing to a fossil fuel free future through turning their farms’ slurry into biogas – which is then being used to power Arla milk trucks.

Arla is a leading international dairy co-operative; owned by 10,300 farmers from the UK, Denmark, Sweden, Germany and Belgium.

This new initiative is part of Arla’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30% per kilogram of milk by 2030 and to work towards “carbon net zero” by 2050.

The biogas initiative in Sweden demonstrates the potential of our farm owners in Arla’s transition to becoming carbon net zero in 2050.

“We have a huge opportunity to develop the market for biogas, as the cow manure from the Arla farmers in Sweden – alone – corresponds to 54 million litres of diesel,” said Kristian Østerling Eriknauer – vice-president of corporate responsibility in Arla.

According to Arla, it’s not only the climate that benefits from manure.

The biogas can be a source of income for Arla’s farm owners, and the biomass that remains after the cow manure is digested can be used as a fertiliser – which is more nutritious and odourless than the cow manure, creating a closed-loop system.

A total of 81 farmers are already delivering manure to the biogas plants, running both milk trucks and city buses.

More trials on fossil fuels

This initiative in Sweden is just one of many fossil fuel trials for transport running across the farmer-owned cooperative, Arla.

Over the next two years, as well as manure-powered vehicles, battery-powered electric trucks will be tested in Arla’s core markets.

“Technologies are developing fast and so is the political landscape, which is why we follow developments and test emerging technologies before investing in full-scale rollouts,” said Østerling Eriknauer.