The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last week offered a sharp upgrade to renewable natural gas (RNG) in its proposed 2019 Renewable Fuel Volume Obligations (RVO).

The cellulosic biofuel volumes will increase by 32% next year for the RNG sector, with 381 million gallons  providing the impetus for more growth of the product in the alternative fuel space.

"A 381 million gallon RVO will provide a policy framework that should allow more RNG development," said RNG Coalition CEO Johannes Escudero.

Escudero is eyeing more investment in RNG production facilities, both building and maintaining them. In the past seven years, the RNG industry has developed more than 45 facilities capable of producing cellulosic biofuel. Currently, there are 50 more production facilities under development.

The amounts of cellulosic biofuel have shot upward from 33 million gallons in 2014 to more than 240 million gallons last year, according to Escudero.

In Washington, DC, at the World Gas Conference (WGC), South Carolina-based Adsorbed Natural Gas Products Inc. (ANGP) picked up the WGC's innovation award in the category of natural gas transportation for its fueling system technology.

ANGP and its partner, Ingevity Corp., exhibited the PHANGV (plug-in hybrid adsorbed natural gas vehicle) technology on a 2018 Ford F-150 pickup truck. The technology applies the science of adsorption to provide more fuel storage and at lower pressures.

Adsorbed natural gas makes the physical storage and performance of the fuel delivery work better onboard the vehicle, natural gas vehicle engineers explain. It allows more CH4 molecules in the gas to readily adhere to the surface of tanks, and the more surface area that can be created, the more molecules can be contained in a tank.

In Kansas, Clean Energy Fuels Corp. joined local government officials from Olathe, KS, and Johnson County to mark the opening of a $4 million compressed natural gas fueling station that was expected to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, fueling costs and noise pollution.

Funded by both the city and county, along with the Kansas Department of Transportation, the Newport Beach, CA-based NGV fueling company will jointly fuel 50 Olathe city refuse trucks and 120 transit buses in Johnson County.

The local governments are expecting to use 20-29%, less diesel fuel and to reduce noise levels by 80%. The new station joins a number of other Clean Energy Fuels projects in Kansas.