Research: RNG viable as vehicle fuel

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New research from New York-based research firm Energy Vision and California-based CALSTART, an organization promoting clean transportation technology, says that renewable natural gas (RNG) is a viable alternative to petroleum-based fuels for transportation.

Renewable natural gas, made from organic wastes discarded by homes, industries, and deposited in landfills or anaerobic digesters, can be blended with fossil natural gas or can replace it, according to the research.  

"Today we can turn this country's expensive organic waste burden into a clean vehicle fuel solution," said Energy Vision President Joanna Underwood.

Waste biogases can also be used to generate power and heat homes, but other renewable energy sources can also meet those needs, Underwood notes.

"Fossil-based and renewable natural gas used as vehicle fuels are the only options for displacing significant amounts of oil," she said.

Using natural gas to fuel vehicles can achieve move the U.S. toward meeting clean air, climate change, energy, national security, economic and job creation goals, Underwood contends.

There are still obstacles to producing renewable natural gas for vehicle fuel, including up-front costs of constructing anaerobic digesters in which the biogases from wastes form; installing the technology needed to refine these biogases; existing standards that make it difficult to transport RNG through natural gas pipelines; and provisions in the U.S. Tax Code rewarding production of biogas for power generation but not for vehicle fuel.

For more:
- see the report