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Renewable CNG Studies Cite Reduced Emissions

Renewable compressed natural gas (R-CNG) produced from anaerobic digester-produced biogas resulted in big carbon emissions reductions, according to joint studies by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory and nonprofit Energy Vision.

One study reviewed a 36,000-cow dairy operation at Fair Oaks Farms in Indiana with the R-CNG fueling a fleet of milk tanker trucks. The study “verifies that CNG can achieve the greatest GHG reductions of any transportation fuel today -- 70% or more as compared to gasoline or diesel," researchers said.

The second study examined the Sacramento BioDigester in Northern California, the first food waste digester in the state to produce R-CNG for vehicular use. “The environmental, health and energy security benefits associated with diesel displacement and landfill diversion are significant,” said researchers.

“Direct and indirect emissions reductions resulting from the production and use of R-CNG (made via anaerobic digestion of food and green waste) as a transportation fuel mean that, on a lifecycle basis, the fuel is net-carbon negative.”

R-CNG “not only meets but exceeds the international goal to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions 80% from 2005 levels by 2050.”

Energy Vision President Matt Tomich said the projects “bode well for the future of RNG.”

In other news, New Jersey became the 24th state to adopt a law that allows more weight for natural gas-powered trucks. Under SB 3616, a 2,000-pound weight allowance is provided. The allowance is codified in federal law by the 2015 FAST Act as natural gas vehicle (NGV) fuel systems may add to a truck's weight. Under the law, NGV fleet operators may be able to pull full loads without reducing their cargo weight.

New Jersey followed 10 states that adopted similar measures last year. As a result, a fully loaded NGV truck may weigh up to 82,000 pounds under federal law and those of 24 states.

Meanwhile, Trillium CNG is branching out, with services also to include electric vehicle charging and hydrogen fueling infrastructure. Trillium plans to begin building this summer its first hydrogen fueling station for fuel cell electric buses for the Orange County Transportation Authority in Santa Ana, CA.

Infrastructure also would be added to existing CNG fueling lanes. The expansion is being managed by the nonprofit Center for Transportation and the Environment.

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