Traditional natural gas in the United States is a fossil fuel made from methane gas formed by millions of years of heat and pressure on organic materials. It can be costly and difficult to mine.
However, there’s another form of methane gas, that is renewable and easier to obtain. When you visit a farm or a landfill, the first thing most people notice is a distinct odor. That’s methane gas-- and it can be turned into Earth-friendly fuels.
Plant and animal waste from landfills and farms naturally creates methane gas—it's a byproduct of decomposing waste. So, instead of having to find a way to dispose of that smelly waste from farms and landfills, we can turn it into clean-running energy!
This type of energy is renewable because as long as animals, plants and humans produce waste, we won’t ever run out of this gas-producing resource. There’s a plentiful, never-ending supply of animal waste and landfill waste —just ask any farmer or sanitation worker—and it’s easy to capture without environmental risk. Talk about taking lemons and making lemonade—renewable natural gas (RNG) solves several problems at once.
Raw Renewable Natural Gas, gathered from farms and landfills, is methane, which the fuel industry calls biogas. In order to be usable in vehicles or homes, purified methane must be packaged under pressure to make it usable as a fuel. This pressurized product is called Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). It’s a pipeline-quality vehicle fuel that qualifies as an advanced biofuel under the Renewable Fuel Standard. Most importantly, it can be used to fill fuel tanks.
However, Not all CNG is renewable energy. CNG made from fossil fuels is not renewable—those supplies can be depleted and cause environmental concerns. Only CNG made from RNG is renewable. That’s an important consideration when you’re working to be an Earth-friendly steward of natural resources.