From waste to fuel: the prospects for renewable natural gas in the US

While hydrogen initiatives have been grabbing headlines thanks to large-scale national plans and projects at corporate level, renewable natural gas (RNG) also deserves attention as an emerging tool for decarbonization. RNG comes from capturing biogas from areas like landfills and farms and then cleaning and upgrading that gas to remove excess carbon dioxide to then turn it into biomethane, which is more commonly referred to as RNG. This process is needed to bring the methane portion of biogas to a level that can then be blended with conventional natural gas on existing pipeline infrastructure, to avoid diminishing the quality or heat content of the pipeline. As in the case of hydrogen, policies will be critical for RNG to be a competitive alternative to fossil fuels. A recent special report from S&P Global Platts Analytics, The role of renewable natural gas in a carbon-constrained US market, highlighted some of the key considerations in assessing the potential of RNG in the US today: 1. RNG could play a key role in curbing methane emissions Capturing biogas for RNG offers net-zero carbon potential since it reduces emissions that would otherwise escape directly into the atmosphere. At the same time, it can displace higher-emitting… continue reading

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