What is Renewable Natural Gas?

Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) is essentially the Biomethane or Biogas that have been processed to purity standards. Biogas is a mixture of gases (mostly methane and carbon dioxide), generated by the natural breakdown of organic matter. 

RNG is a storable and replenishable fuel that looks and acts like fossil pipeline-quality natural gas and is hence, fully interchangeable. It is a clean, affordable, and reliable waste-derived fuel that can be used on-site to generate power or as a fuel in industries, commercial, transport sectors and even as a feedstock in the fertiliser and chemicals industry.

Biogas is a Renewable Fuel produced by the breakdown of Organic Matter such as food scraps and animal waste generate biogas and convert it into RNG. RNG then can be injected into the fossil Natural Gas Pipeline Network and transported to the CNG Stations or to the end consumers. Similarly, wherever there is no pipeline connectivity, we will compress the RNG up to 250 bar pressure and fill into the Cascades and then transport it via vehicle to the nearest CNG stations for vehicle filling and hence called as Compressed biogas (CBG). 

In this way, biogas projects capture Methane (CH4) released from organic wastes that are collected from sources such as Landfills, existing food waste, Animal manure, Industrial waste, Agriculture waste, Garbage, Wastewater treatment plants, farms, and food processing plants, and redirect it away from the environment, thereby repurposing it as a clean and green energy source.  

Where do we get the Biogas from for RNG Production?

Biogas is produced from existing organic waste streams and a variety of renewable and sustainable biomass sources, which includes:

  • Wastewater Treatment plants
  • Agricultural waste (such as crop residues, woody biomass, and dedicated energy crops
  • Landfill waste
  • Residential or commercial organic waste (from municipal solid waste)
  • Sugar Plant waste - Pressmud
  • Distillery waste- Spent wash 
  • Animal waste such as Cattle dung, Live stocks, Chicken litter, Slaughterhouse 
  • Organic waste from industrial, institutional, and commercial entities, such as food manufacturing and wholesalers, supermarkets, restaurants, hospitals, and educational facilities. 

How is Renewable Natural Gas Produced?

The RNG process involves three steps. The first involves collecting organic waste and transporting it to a biogas plant. Next, the waste collected is pre -treated and put into a biodigester in the absence of oxygen, where Microbes and other bacteria break down the organic waste, creating raw biogas as a product of this Anaerobic Digestion (AD) process. This raw biogas is then cleaned and purified thereby upgrading it to RNG. In this step, impurities such as moisture, carbon dioxide (CO2), and trace-level contaminants (including siloxanes, volatile organic compounds [VOCs], and hydrogen sulphide [H2S]), are removed, while Methane (CH4) content is increased to 94%-99% from 45% -65%.

Once purified, Biogas only contains methane (CH4) and a small amount of nitrogen, making it almost impossible to distinguish from fossil Natural Gas. This purified biogas is called biomethane, or Renewable Natural Gas (RNG). RNG is a term used to describe anaerobically generated biogas that has been upgraded.

RNG can be used as a transportation fuel in the form of compressed biogas (CBG) or liquefied biomethane (Bio-LNG). RNG provides a solution for effectively managing this waste issue and getting us on the path to implementing a source of clean and reliable fuel at the affordable market price. RNG can be a form of gas that combines low to negative lifecycle carbon emissions with high energy density, storage capability, and transportability.

BoxLNG’s site specific innovative approach enables us to conceptualise, and use the most suited Globally available Technologies for the RNG projects that are expected to have higher uptime and efficiency, faster project execution timelines, and lower Project Development costs than World Industry averages.

What are the Usage of Biogas?

Biogas has diverse applications in domestic and industrial energy sectors. Except for the simplest thermal uses such as on-site electricity generation or some types of heating, biogas needs to be cleaned or processed prior to use as a fuel in vehicles. The most common examples of how biogas is used are listed below:

  • Domestic and industrial heating and steam
  • Electricity generation
  • Transport fuel
  • Biogas for fuel cells
  • Fertiliser and Chemical manufacturing

Depending on the process used for biogas generation, the biogas energy content (primary methane) will vary slightly. With appropriate cleaning or upgrade, purified biogas (biomethane) can be used in all applications that were developed for fossil Natural Gas or similar alternatives.

Similarly, the by-products of the Anaerobic Digester process generate residual solids, and liquids created in biogas production are referred to as digestate/manure. This digestate goes into a post-digester reactor and from there further into storage tanks. Solid digestates have uses such as fertilizers in agriculture or in landscaping and can also be turned into gardening soil through a process of maturation involving composting. The liquid digestate is rich in nutrients, particularly nitrogen used as fertilizers in agriculture or nutrient sources in industrial processes.

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