Clean Fuels Ohio and Energy Vision hosted a conference on renewable natural gas (RNG) made from organic waste as a transportation fuel on Dec. 2 at Central State University in Wilberforce, OH. The conference focused on the production, utilization, and development strategies for this ultra-low-carbon transportation fuel alternative.
“RNG can be fully integrated into Ohio’s growing compressed natural gas infrastructure,” said Sam Spofforth, executive director of Clean Fuels Ohio. “It’s easy for fleets to use, provides economic benefits even compared with diesel today plus huge environmental benefits.”
Renergy, a leading producer of RNG, and Vectren, a natural gas and electricity utility, were the headlining sponsors of the event. Speakers at the event included representatives from the Argonne National Laboratory, RNG Coalition, the Ohio State University Agricultural Research Center, and more. The presentations overviewed specific project development models and policies supporting RNG that exist today.
“The decarbonized energy economy is not abstract or theoretical, it's happening here and now," said Joanna Underwood, president of
Energy Vision. "RNG from organic waste is an ultra-low carbon to net carbon-negative fuel that's available and practical today. Ohio could make enough of it to fuel CNG vehicles and displace as much as 40% of the state's diesel consumption, along with the greenhouse gas emissions that go with it. The waste stream, the technologies and some of the infrastructure are in place in Ohio now. All we need are the policies to encourage RNG development, and we believe that this conference will help inspire those."
RNG is methane produced from decomposition of organic wastes from agricultural, municipal, food processing and other sources, then further processed to remove certain contaminants. Producers use either anaerobic digesters (ADs) or landfills to make RNG. ADs speed up decomposition, mitigate water pollution, and harness biogas production. Landfills act as giant digesters. Landfill gas projects include piping and vacuums at the landfill to collection biogas before it escapes into the atmosphere.
RNG reduces net greenhouse gas emissions by 80-115 percent and can be utilized by any vehicle designed to use CNG and dispensed at any station. CNG is becoming increasingly popular especially with fleets and larger vehicles. In 2010, Ohio had only three public CNG stations. Today, Ohio has 37.
Clean Fuels Ohio is a designated DOE Clean Cities Coalition and a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the use of cleaner, domestic fuels and efficient vehicles to the transportation industry, government, and the public. Learn more at www.cleanfuelsohio.org.
Energy Vision is a non-profit organization which researches, analyzes and promotes currently viable technologies and strategies for accomplishing the transition to a sustainable, low-carbon energy and transportation future. Learn more at www.energy-vision.org