Renewable natural gas (RNG) offers fleet operators a significant opportunity to cut carbon emissions, deploy a low carbon, renewable fuel, and even cut operational costs. The primary and current source of RNG— also known as biomethane, biogas, or renewable methane —is organic material decomposing in landfills, sewage treatment plants, and biodigesters. As organic material decomposes without oxygen, it produces methane.
Like conventional natural gas, RNG can be used as a transportation fuel in the form of compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG). Any fleet currently using conventional forms of natural gas vehicles can immediately begin contracting with one of several suppliers in the market for blends of pipeline-injected RNG for their operations. According to the US DOE’s Alternative Fuel Data Center, natural gas powers more than 175,000 vehicles in the United States and roughly 23 million vehicles worldwide.
The Federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) has driven demand for many types of renewable fuels, including RNG. The RFS program has supported the development of the RNG market since 2014, and exponential growth will require a more robust role for RNG in the future. According to the Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas, RNG production from 2015 through 2018 has more than doubled under the RFS.
“The highest-value end use has switched to transport fuel,” according to Marcus Gillette, spokesperson for the Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas. He estimated that about three-fourths of RNG produced in the U.S. is now used for transportation.
Clean Fuels Ohio is working with natural gas fleets in Ohio to assist with the adoption of RNG, as well as providing various services for fleet analysis such as, planning, grant-writing, and alternative fuel deployment. To learn more, contact Clean Fuels Ohio Consulting Services Director, Andrew Conley at Andrew@CleanFuelsOhio.org or call 614-884-7336 for more information.