Growth on the Horizon for Renewable Natural Gas Transportation
Renewable natural gas (RNG) as a transportation fuel has been on the rise and continues to see growth, while transit and marine transportation providers in Norway are looking at a liquefied natural gas (LNG) version of LNG. A renewable energy business also signed an agreement that fuels539 compressed natural gas (CNG) buses.
Natural gas can be created from waste, including food waste in landfills and agricultural waste on farms. By taking this waste and using technology, we can turn it into RNG which can be used to power of fuel anything that’s already running on natural gas, including our vehicles. Sustainable America states that “Based on proven technology and existing feedstocks, waste-derived RNG could conceivably displace or replace around 7 billion gallons of diesel per year if it all went to the vehicle market. Plus, when RNG is used to fuel vehicles, it has lower emissions than gasoline, and it eliminates the methane emissions the waste would’ve produced if left to decay.”
This article also states that one of the reasons we’re not using more of RNG for transportation is due to high project costs, and limited demand for the fuel. However, the demand is beginning to increase and various companies and industries are beginning to invest in RNG.
Natural Gas Intel discusses Finland-based Wartsila’s technology that is used “to liquefy small methane-based gas streams and is being used to create biogas from paper mill and fishery operations. The technology is to be applied at an installation by Biokraft Norway at the Norske Skog Skogn paper mill near Trondheim, Norway. A marine natural gas fueling provider, Wartsila expects strong demand in the land-based transportation market for liquefied biogas fuel.”
But it’s not only Finland who is interested in using CNG for transportation. “The California Air Resources Board (CARB) also has certified North American Repower’s dedicated-NGV, spark-ignition version of the 7.6-liter International DT 466 engine for Class 5-8 trucks and buses. The company offers a retrofit package, including the engine, CNG fuel tanks and fill panel fully installed in three days. The DT 466 conversion was approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last year for vehicles through model year 2004. Officials said there are more than 39,000 retrofits in California alone.”
As businesses find success with RNG and CNG, other companies and organizations are beginning to understand the benefits of these resources. For example, Clean Energy Fuels Corp. is working with Waste Pro USA to improve its CNG fueling capabilities and creating fueling facilities in Sanford and Sarasota, Florida.
Another example is that Waste Pro is committed to transforming its fleet of refuse collection from diesel to CNG. This means, they’re purchasing mostly large, 12-liter Cummins Westport CNG engines and a few smaller 8.9-liter engines from Mack.
Businesses are continuing to use these resources and growth is predicted to increase.