A Brief Insight into Renewable Natural Gas

Renewable Natural Gas

With the global climate and environment deteriorating rapidly, renewable natural gas has made its presence felt. This renewable natural gas gets produced from organic waste. In only the last few years, the use of renewable natural gas has increased a lot, and with that, more than 113 new facilities are now producing the gas. Due to this kind of natural gas’s many benefits, it has been widely accepted as the better alternative to fossil fuels. Some states like Washington, Oregon, and California have also integrated renewable natural gas into their climate goals.

Several assessments and studies on renewable natural gas have shown that the world can replace around 4% to 7% of the overall fossil gas consumption with enough of it. Not only that, but with this waste-derived fuel, you will also have other co-benefits regarding waste management. From the broader perspective, it has been seen that using renewable natural gas can have a significant role to play in decarbonisation. Although more research is required to deploy such resources more efficiently and sustainably, here are some fundamental things about renewable natural gas.

Some Of The Best Sources of Renewable Natural Gas

The first and most important thing to learn is how these gases are derived. Most traditional renewable natural gas sources include animal manure, landfills, wastewater sludge and food scraps. After this, bacteria get used to break down this organic matter.

The ‘wet’ wastes can produce carbon dioxide, methane, and other harmful gases. It also produces solids through the same process known as anaerobic digestion. The product is then processed, removing all other impurities and producing pure methane.

As of now, landfills source about 90% of the overall renewable natural gas in production. It is also a much more economical option when compared to other waste streams. With increased demand and profitability, many landfills have now developed methane collection systems.

Some of the less concentrated sources include food waste and animal manure. Although these are still developing in this industry, the sheer economic burden of producing renewable natural gas makes them the lesser chosen option.

You can also get renewable natural gas from ‘dry’ organic waste, typically in the form of forestry and agricultural residues. The list can include post-harvest corn plants, tree trimmings, nut shells, and gas clippings.

Such feedstocks often have a high energy potential, sometimes even exceeding that of wet wastes. However, given the technological hassles, this sector has few significant renewable natural gas sources.

Uses Of Renewable Natural Gas and Its Impact on The Climate

As of now, the most common use of renewable natural gas is as a transportation fuel. This is because it acts as a cheaper and more eco-friendly alternative to diesel in most heavy-duty vehicles.

Although it is a rising trend, it has been snowballed by mandates like the federal Renewable Fuel Standard or California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard. Nevertheless, given the versatility of renewable natural gas, it can have several different applications.

However, it is mostly used as a heat source for industrial applications and existing buildings. The greenhouse gas emission benefits you derive from renewable natural gas include:

  • Avoid any greenhouse gas emissions that would take place with other waste management.
  • Taking over fossil fuel use and encouraging renewable natural gas use

Most commonly, experts use a lifecycle approach to realise greenhouse gas emissions. This also includes the energy used to convert organic waste into biomethane. More so, it takes methane leaks and emissions resulting from a project. In most cases, renewable natural gas does not deal with more emissions than it generates. This further leads to negative carbon intensity when dealing with carbon dioxide emissions avoided with every quantity of fuel consumption.

These are some reasons you should consider using renewable natural gas instead of what is present. It is not only renewable but also helps the environment and economic state. However, before you find a potential supplier, you should always check their reputation in the market and client testimonials. This will give you a fair idea of their presence and efficiency.