Renewable Natural Gas
Business Development TeamRNG@washgas.com
The Washington Gas Business Development Team is available to help you facilitate adding renewable natural gas (RNG) to your projects. Our skilled team of experts include a variety of professionals with the technical skills to understand your requirements, assess project fit and walk you through each stage of the process.
Our mission is to provide our partners with first-class personalized service by developing quality and innovative energy solutions. We provide the tools to make partnering with Washington Gas the premier energy choice in your commercial and industrial market segments.
The production of RNG begins with the collection of a feedstock from livestock waste, food waste, wastewater and landfills. The collected biogas is then delivered to a processing facility to process the biogas to create RNG, which is then injected into the natural gas pipeline, to be used as transportation fuel, for electricity generation, and for use in the commercial, industrial and residential sectors.
Below is an illustration of how RNG is created:
Learn more about this innovative energy solution.
What is RNG?
Upon combustion, RNG can be carbon neutral or even carbon negative. It is extremely versatile and interchangeable with natural gas and compatible with the U.S. pipeline infrastructure.1
It can be directly used in a variety of ways:
- In homes and businesses
- In manufacturing and heavy industries
- For electricity production
- As an alternative fuel for transportation
According to the American Gas Association, “RNG is derived from biomass or other renewable resources and is a pipeline-quality gas that is fully interchangeable with conventional natural gas.” It originates from organic waste material such as food, lawn and garden clippings, woody biomass and more. Wastewater treatment plants and landfills are some of the biggest sources of organic waste, which are the building blocks for the creation of biogas. Many key sources of biomethane are non-hazardous landfills, dairies, wastewater treatment plants and other organic sources.
“Raw biogas has a methane content between 45 and 65 percent, depending on the source of the feedstock, and must go through a series of steps to be converted into RNG. Treatment includes removing moisture, carbon dioxide (CO2) and trace level contaminants (including siloxanes, volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, and hydrogen sulfide), as well as reducing the nitrogen and oxygen content. Once upgraded, the gas has a methane content of 90 percent or greater. Typically, RNG injected into a natural gas pipeline has a methane content between 96 and 98 percent.”
One of the most attractive features of RNG is that it can be introduced and provide emissions reductions projects without necessitating upgraded or new equipment by the end-user1
Why is RNG so important?
RNG provides a variety of benefits in addressing climate change.
- Provide benefits when RNG is used as transportation fuel 2
- Reduce greenhouse gases by capturing methane that would have vented into the atmosphere 2
- Be stored and used at any time while other clean energy sources depend on fluctuating factors like sunshine and wind
- Be transported utilizing the same highly reliable and extensive pipeline infrastructure
What environmental benefits does RNG provide?
RNG can provide environmental benefits when RNG is used as transportation fuel. 3
- In the D.C. metropolitan area, heavy-duty vehicles including trucks, buses and refuse haulers, powered by diesel account for a significant share of GHG emissions.
- RNG in heavy-duty vehicles has the potential to reduce GHG emissions, and when coupled with the newest natural gas engine technology, can also help achieve drastic reductions in nitric oxide (NOx) emissions.
- For every 1,000 heavy-duty natural gas vehicles powered by RNG that displace diesel consumption in the D.C. metropolitan area, ICF estimates GHG emission reductions of 20,000–25,000 metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent.
- Heavy-duty trucks, transit buses and refuse haulers running on compressed natural gas (CNG) reduce GHG emissions by about 10–20% compared to their diesel counterparts.
- The introduction of RNG amplifies these emission reductions by four to five times.
- Substituting RNG for CNG amplifies these emissions reductions by four to five times (on a direct GHG emission accounting basis)
RNG can reduce greenhouse gases by capturing methane that would have vented into the atmosphere.
- Food waste is often sent to a landfill where methane is released or burned (e.g., turned into carbon dioxide) which enters the atmosphere. To produce RNG, these gases are captured and cleaned rather than being released directly into the atmosphere.
- RNG can be stored and used at any time while other clean energy sources depend on fluctuating factors like sunshine and wind.
RNG can directly replace traditional fossil fuels utilizing the same pipeline infrastructure.
- “RNG combusts similarly to fossil natural gas, so pipeline operators make no distinctions between the two once the RNG meets the required specification and is injected into the pipeline network.” 4
Can RNG be used to create Clean Hydrogen?
Yes! Hydrogen can be generated via steam methane reforming (SMR), a common technology in use across the US today. By utilizing RNG, this existing SMR technology will meet, if not exceed, the US Department of Energy’s definition for Clean Hydrogen 3,5
In the future, a carbon-negative Clean Hydrogen may be generated from RNG via a methane pyrolysis process, a processing technology,6 which has no carbon-dioxide emissions, is currently being supported by the US DOE.
Upon combustion, RNG can be carbon neutral or even carbon negative. It is extremely versatile and interchangeable with natural gas and compatible with the U.S. pipeline infrastructure.3
Provide emission reduction benefits when RNG is used as transportation fuel3
Reduce greenhouse gases by capturing methane that would have vented into the atmosphere3
Are you interested in purchasing RNG?
Can I buy RNG from Washington Gas?
Washington Gas welcomes customers using RNG as a tool to help address climate change.. The ability for Washington Gas to supply RNG depends on a variety of factors. Please email us at RNG@washgas.com and someone from our Business Development Team will get back to you to discuss your RNG needs.
Do you produce RNG?
How do I interconnect my RNG project to the Washington Gas pipeline system?
Please email us at RNG@washgas.com and someone from our Business Development Team will get back to you to discuss your RNG needs.
Washington Gas’ first RNG interconnection project is currently under construction at the WSSC Piscataway Waste Water Treatment Facility in Maryland. The RNG interconnect will be complete as part of the larger bioenergy project at the Piscataway facility. Learn more about the Piscataway project.
Washington Gas Climate Business Plan
Additional RNG Resources
American Gas Association
US Department of Energy
American Biogas Council
US Environmental Protection Agency
Study on the Use of Biofuels (Renewable Natural Gas)
1The Feasibility of Renewable Natural Gas as a Large-Scale, Low Carbon Substitute
2US Environmental Protection Agency Landfill Methane Outreach Program
3Study on the Use of Biofuels (Renewable Natural Gas)
4An Overview of Renewable Natural Gas from Biogas.
5Kick-Starting Deployment of Clean Hydrogen in the United States – The Bipartisan Law
6New Clean Energy Process Converts Methane to Hydrogen with Zero Carbon Dioxide Emissions