Renewable Natural Gas

What is Renewable Natural Gas (RNG)?

According to the U.S. EPA, Methane—the primary component in natural gas—is the second most prevalent greenhouse gas emitted in the United States from human activities. In 2013, methane accounted for about 10% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from human activities. Methane’s lifetime in the atmosphere is much shorter than carbon dioxide, but methane is more efficient at trapping radiation than carbon dioxide. Pound for pound, the comparative impact of methane on climate change is more than 25 times greater than carbon dioxide over a 100-year period.

Capturing, purifying and monetizing methane emitted via human activities, such as the raising of livestock and landfills, represents not only a better solution for the environment, but also an outstanding business opportunity. ARI’s AdvanSorb®-RNG gas processing technologies can successfully address methane losses from a variety of sources, including biogas from landfills, waste water treatment, agricultural waste, anaerobic digestion.

Together, these sources represent approximately 25%+ of the methane that is released into the atmosphere, in the U.S., due to human activity.

Renewable Natural Gas (RNG)

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What is RNG?

Renewable natural gas (RNG)* is a term used to describe biogas that has been upgraded for use in place of fossil natural gas. The biogas used to produce RNG comes from a variety of sources, including municipal solid waste landfills, digesters at water resource recovery facilities (wastewater treatment plants), livestock farms, food production facilities and organic waste management operations.

RNG can be used locally at the site where the gas is created or it can be injected into natural gas transmission or distribution pipelines. Typical end-uses for RNG range from similar to those of natural gas to vehicle fuel, particularly as a substitute for diesel.

*RNG is a “term of art” and there is not at present a standard definition. This description has been developed by EPA’s voluntary programs.

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Why use RNG?

Just like electrification, wind and solar, RNG is an essential piece of the puzzle when it comes to moving away from our dependence on fossil fuels. That said, RNG is unique in that the technology is already here.

To effectively address environmental challenges now, America needs a diverse portfolio of solutions and resources that can start working together today and affect measurable change quickly.

RNG is a game changer because it reduces the impacts of organic wastes, while also fueling a greener future. Solid waste is expected to grow nearly 70% by 2050 due to natural human activity. RNG provides a near-term solution for effectively managing this dangerous waste issue and getting us on the path to implementing a source of clean, reliable fuel.

The choice couldn’t be clearer – while some other sources of green and renewable energy will require significant infrastructure changes to be implemented, RNG can be used in existing systems and appliances today.

How Does RNG help Farmers?

To farmers, RNG is simple – it’s about responsible energy ingenuity. RNG is already being used by farmers around the world because it provides them with an effective waste management solution, while creating long-term financial and clean-energy assets.

While RNG can be created from a variety of different sources, farmers are in a unique position because the burdensome waste they regularly have to manage – whether it be food waste, crop residue, animal manure or wastewater – can now be used to create RNG.

By creating their own RNG, farms can create new revenue streams, not only from efficiently handling naturally occurring waste, but also from the sale of RNG to others. RNG production, through anaerobic digestion or “fermentation” of materials, yields valuable by-products for farmers, including more effective fertilizers and even recycled animal bedding, all of which can be used on the farm or sold for additional profit. While RNG is not exclusively useful to farmers, it is uniquely equipped to benefit their economic futures, our nation’s domestic food sources and farming communities.

RNG is helping American farming families continue their legacy of putting food on our nation’s tables and sustaining our economy at a time when farming in the United States has never been tougher.

Sources & Additional Information

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