EV in the News

Argonne and NGO Energy Vision case studies demonstrate success of renewable natural gas as transport fuel

Green Car Congress

The US Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory and the sustainable energy NGO Energy Vision released two case studies assessing the results of projects that were among the first to produce Renewable Compressed Natural Gas (R-CNG) vehicle fuel by using anaerobic digesters to capture the biogases from decomposing organic waste.

Energy Vision and Argonne produced the studies jointly. One study looks at Fair Oaks Farms, a large dairy cooperative in Indiana with roughly 36,000 cows. It converts manure to R-CNG using a large anaerobic digester, and uses the fuel to power its milk tanker trucks. The other study assesses the Sacramento BioDigester, the first food-waste digester in California to turn commercial organic waste into R-CNG vehicle fuel using anaerobic digestion.

  • Fair Oaks Farm’s digester generates enough R-CNG to displace some 1.5 million gallons of diesel, and to cut annual GHG emissions by 19,500 tons CO2e. That’s a 43% reduction in carbon emissions per gallon of milk, a selling point that helped the company negotiate an exclusive supply agreement with the national grocery chain Kroger.
  • The Sacramento BioDigester was built by a public-private partnership in 2013. Atlas Disposal and other haulers collect the organic wastes from area businesses and deliver it to the digester, which produces enough R-CNG to displace 500,000 gallons of diesel a year and divert up to 40,000 tons of organic waste from landfills. Atlas’s subsidiary ReFuel Energy Partners uses that R-CNG to power its 30 natural gas powered refuse trucks. Atlas is committed to converting its entire refuse fleet to natural gas as older diesel vehicles retire.

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