NGVs Run on Low-Carbon Renewable Fuel

Renewable natural gas—also known as biomethane or biogas—is a model alternative fuel. Produced from animal waste, crop waste and sewage, it delivers benefits throughout the fuel cycle. And NGVs running on biomethane deliver the same low–pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions they do when running on conventional natural gas.

Biomethane is the lowest-carbon fuel.

Making biomethane eliminates climate-changing emissions from agricultural waste and landfills, turning a costly pollution problem into a revenue-generating product that reduces greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, compressed natural gas made from landfill gas is the lowest-carbon fuel available, according to a California Air Resources Board analysis.

The technology is ready to go.

Proven technologies can be put to use right now to convert California’s vast waste feedstocks at dairies and landfills to clean-burning biomethane. Sweden shows what’s possible: 45 percent of the NGV fuel sold there is biomethane, and Swedish experts believe biomethane could supply 20 percent of their country’s total transportation fuel.

Waste Management runs a third of its California clean fleet on liquefied biomethane derived from the decomposition of organic waste at its Altamont Landfill in Livermore. Since November 2009, the landfill has been generating as much as 13,000 gallons of LNG per day.

California’s biomethane opportunity is huge.

Waste Management estimates that California’s current recoverable biomethane resources could displace more than 900 million gallons of diesel fuel annually. That’s more than 34 percent of the taxable diesel fuel used for transportation in California in 2010.

A September 2005 report commissioned by Western United Dairymen found that the state’s 1.7 million dairy cows could produce 150 million gasoline gallon equivalents of biomethane a year. A number of projects are under way at California dairies.

Distribution is flexible.

Biomethane can be incorporated into California’s natural gas pipeline system or delivered on-site or by truck.

Photo credit: station courtesy Clean Energy Fuels