The growing use of renewable natural gas (RNG) by several U.S industries, including the shipping industry, durable plastic producers and hybrid vehicles, is having a dramatic impact on the environment and climate change. Because RNG is made by capturing biogases emitted from decomposing organic material in wastewater, agricultural waste, food and yard waste, it leaves a fraction of the carbon footprint left by fossil natural gas. The use of RNG radically reduces carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide emissions from the traditional propane, gasoline or diesel-fueled vehicles.
Because of RNG’s expanding use, it is becoming more viable and cost efficient. Energy Vision, a New York City based, sustainable energy non-governmental organization promoting sustainable energy since 2007, recently awarded companies using RNGs. Among those Energy Vision praised was the United Parcel Servcie (UPS), the largest user of RNG in the shipping industry and who has purchased renewable gas for 400 of its vehicles in California, displacing about 1.5 million gallons of diesel annually. RNG biogases used for transportation fuel are refined into an ultra-low-carbon, low-emissions source of energy , especially when made from food waste processed in anaerobic digesters, resulting in a net carbon-negative over its lifecycle.
Also, Energy Vision honored Newlight Technologies, LLC, who patented greenhouse gas-to-plastic technology to make durable plastics using waste-derived biogas instead of fossil petroleum. Its AirCarbon™ plastic is 60% carbon and hydrogen from captured greenhouse gas. Also awarded by Energy Vision was MOVE Systems, a company that has re-conceptualized the mobile food industry by designing and making energy-efficient hybrid mobile food vehicles that can run on compressed natural gas (CNG) or RNG, batteries and solar panels, or plug in to the electric grid.
Slated for 2016, one major source of expanded RNG supply will be American Organic Energy, which will break ground to build the first large-scale anaerobic digester facility in the New York metro area. The facility will process food waste into RNG for energy and transportation fuel. It will be among the first food waste-to-RNG pipeline injection projects in the US.