WHAT IS RENEWABLE NATURAL GAS?
Renewable Natural Gas ('RNG') is an ultra-clean and ultra low-carbon natural gas alternative. As organic waste breaks down it emits methane gas, called biogas, that can be processed to meet natural gas pipeline quality specifications. Biogas is a mixture of carbon dioxide and hydrocarbons, primarily methane gas, from the biological decomposition of organic materials.
RNG is sometimes referred to as 'biomethane,' a related term. Biomethane is biogas-derived, high-BTU gas that is predominantly methane after the biogas is upgraded to remove most of the contaminants and majority of the carbon dioxide and nitrogen found in biogas.
Renewable natural gas is biomethane that is upgraded to natural gas pipeline quality standards such that it may blend with, or substitute for, geologic natural gas.
WHAT MAKES RENEWABLE NATURAL GAS DIFFERENT?
Natural gas is what emits from organic matter as it decomposes. We use natural gas in our stoves and ovens, for our hot water heater, and more recently to fuel and power CNG and LNG vehicles. Traditional natural gas is a clean and currently abundant fossil fuel. What distinguishes renewable natural gas from fossil natural gas is their different source of supply. It is a question of what organic matter is decaying? Is it the remains of a tyrannosaurus rex or last week’s leftover tuna sandwich?
The feedstocks that can be used to create RNG are abundant. Large amounts of biogas (the raw, freshly emitted and untreated gas) can be collected at local landfills, wastewater treatment plants, commercial food waste facilities and agricultural digesters (dairies, etc.). Once this raw biogas is collected and upgraded (cleaned and conditioned) to meet natural gas pipeline quality specifications, we call it Renewable Natural Gas (biomethane or RNG). RNG can be blended with or otherwise serve as a direct substitute for the following natural gas applications, without any operational changes: drop-in vehicle fuel, renewable electric power generation, and any daily in-home use.
RNG AS AN IN-HOME APPLICATION
You are probably already enjoying the benefits of natural gas in your home. Your hot water heater, furnace, dryer, oven and stove-top work safely and efficiently at the turn of a nob or click of a button. You made a good choice by selecting natural gas. Natural gas is the cleanest burning fossil fuel available.
Fortunately, you no longer have to settle for fossil fuels. The exact same natural gas you use every day is now available to your gas utility from renewable sources. RNG can be blended with fossil gas or used independently with no difference or impact to the appliances you already own or use and love. In a world of limited resources, why not choose renewable natural gas?
RNG AS AN ALTERNATIVE VEHICLE FUEL
The billowing black exhaust that once filled the street air is disappearing. Many city bus fleets now have fresh paint that reads 'Clean Natural Gas Vehicle'. The future has arrived.
The U.S. EPA confirms that Natural Gas is the cleanest option of all fossil fuels. After engine retrofits and installation of fueling infrastructure your local bus, parcel delivery truck, taxi, or any other vehicle can run on natural gas for about half the price of diesel.
Compressed (CNG) or Liquified (LNG) Natural Vehicles are everywhere. This is good, but why not make a good thing great?
RNG is an ultra-clean, ultra low-carbon natural gas alternative. RNG is not a fossil fuel. RNG is the naturally occurring gas generated by organic matter as it decomposes. RNG is primarily methane which means it is a heavy greenhouse gas (GHG) when left unused or un-combusted. When RNG is used as a vehicle fuel, however, the vapor emissions meet the most stringent international GHG pollution laws. Switching to RNG is easy, requiring no additional capital investment for CNG or LNG ready fleets.