Here’s an overview of key biogas news.
Bristol Community Transport (BCT) has opened a new permanent biomethane gas filling station for its gas-powered bus fleet. The station in Bedminster will be used to fuel buses on the m1 metrobus route, which is operated by BCT under contract to First West of England. The new station represents a £960,000 investment by First West of England, and will also support a fleet of 77 new low emission busses. The biogas that fuels the buses is provided by the Gas Bus Alliance (GBA) and comes from waste food and is supplied from anaerobic digesters across the UK.
Gas Networks Ireland has for the first time injected farm-produced biomethane into its national network at a site in Co Kildare and has just applied for planning permission for a second injection point in North Cork. The renewable gas entered the network at Ireland’s first purpose-built injection facility in Cush Co Kildare within the last few days. It represents the first step in Gas Networks Ireland’s €28m plan to roll out a network of renewable gas injection facilities across the country. The company has just lodged a planning application for another injection point in Mitchelstown with Cork County Council.
Clean Energy Fuels Corporation has announced it has inked contracts to provide its Redeem™ renewable natural gas (RNG) to power fleets across multiple sectors that include transit, trucking, airports, solid waste and service vehicles. Redeem became commercially available in 2013 and is derived from capturing biogenic methane that is naturally created by the decomposition of dairy, landfill, and wastewater treatment plant waste. As a vehicle fuel, Redeem enables at least 70% reduction in carbon emissions when displacing diesel or gasoline.
Smithfield Foods, Incorporated announces construction has been completed on a low-pressure natural gas transmission line connecting a Smithfield hog farm with the city of Milan’s natural gas pipeline. Renewable natural gas (RNG) produced at the hog farm will be directly injected into the transmission line flowing into Milan’s natural gas distribution system prior to delivery. For more than a decade, Smithfield has been researching viable ways to transform hog manure into renewable energy, Smithfield’s “manure-to-energy” projects in Missouri are part of Smithfield Renewables, – the company’s platform to unify and accelerate its carbon reduction and renewable energy efforts, These are described as a key to achieving a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 25% by the year 2025.
EIV Capital, a Houston firm that invests in energy businesses, recently helped raise $75 million in funding that will research turning dairy cattle’s recycled cow manure into usable, clean energy products. The funding will be used by Amp Americas, a Chicago-based startup that is researching how to transform animal waste and convert it into biogas, then sell the biogas to trucking fleets. “EIV has been a fantastic partner in project development, and we’re excited to embark on our next round of development with them,” said Grant Zimmerman, chief executive officer of Amp Americas in a press release.
More than two dozen representatives from the renewable natural gas (RNG) industry spoke at Wednesday’s public hearing in Michigan to provide feedback on 2020 biofuel volumes proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. “The RNG Coalition is the RNG industry,” said David Cox, co-founder and director of operations for the Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas (RNG Coalition), at the hearing. “We have built over 100 facilities that are turning waste into biofuel, and we are currently, today, moving our nation’s packages, our food and our freight.”
While electric trucks get most of the hype for the future of trucking, cleaner-burning natural gas-powered Class 8 heavy-duty trucks sales are rising. Fewer smog-forming nitrogen oxide emissions make natural gas trucks about 19 times cleaner than diesel models. U.S. and Canadian Class 8 natural gas truck retail sales surged 43 percent in the first five months of the year. They fell 18 percent in the same period in 2018, according to Alternative Fuels Quarterly, released by ACT Research. Renewable natural gas received the largest portion of alternative fuel investment in a sampling of news articles compiled by ACT research.
A new statistical report on biogas jointly compiled by Bioenergy Europe in collaboration with the European Biogas Association (EBA), shows that in 2017, the European Union (EU) was able to cut about 61 Mt CO2eq by using biogas. This represents a greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions saving of 1.3 percent of the annual EU GHG emissions or roughly the equivalent of the annual emissions of Bulgaria. Recently Ursula von der Leyen, new President of the European Commission committed to make Europe the “first climate-neutral continent.” Her mandate begins with a strong political commitment in the right direction.
The Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas (RNG Coalition) announced that the North American renewable natural gas (RNG) industry has reached the 100 facility benchmark this summer. With the addition of three recent operational facilities, the 101 RNG production sites across the continent equate to nearly 150 per cent growth over the past five years from the 41 projects built between 1982 and 2014. “Increased RNG development and deployment leads to greater adoption of the renewables we use to drive, and heat and power our homes and businesses,” said Johannes Escudero, RNG Coalition co-founder and CEO.
The US could potentially produce enough energy by harnessing waste each year to power the states of Oregon and Washington, according to recent analysis from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) researchers. The findings, published in the journal Nature Energy by UCLA industrial ecologist and energy economist Deepak Rajagopal and urban planning doctoral candidate Bo Liu, also show that the energy from waste would reduce the equivalent of 37 million cars’ worth of carbon from the environment. “The benefit of using waste is that we are generating waste anyway,” said Liu. “It is a leftover resource that we have not conventionally thought about.”