New Biogas rules in the Renewable Fuel Standards

By: Edward Dodge, Breaking Energy.

The EPA recently announced changes to the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS2) that improves opportunities for biogas to be utilized as a vehicular fuel by qualifying it as an advanced cellulosic biofuel.

Biogas-derived Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) produced from landfills, municipal waste-water treatment facility digesters, agricultural digesters, and separated MSW digesters all now qualify under the RFS. Additionally, electricity used to power electric vehicles produced from the same sources also qualifies as advanced cellulosic biofuel.

These pathways have the potential to provide notable volumes of cellulosic biofuel eligible for the RFS program and should be a factor in recent discussions to lower RFS fuel volume mandates. Significant volumes of advanced biofuels are already being generated from biogas, and in many cases this same fuel will now qualify for cellulosic RINs. As of 2014 the volumes of starch based (corn) ethanol RINs are capped under the RFS and expanding volumes of fuels are all prescribed to be cellulosic in origin, and can now be met with biomethane.