RNG production facility begins operations in Iowa

By GAIN Clean Fuel | May 04, 2018

GAIN Clean Fuel and BioResource Development announce the start-up of a renewable natural gas (RNG) production facility located at Water and Resource Recovery Center in Dubuque, Iowa. The state-of-the-art facility will transform biomethane produced at the wastewater treatment plant into premium, usable RNG for the transportation fuels market.

BRD developed the project and implemented the technology to process and clean up biogases at the facility that will then be injected into the Black Hills Energy natural gas distribution system. GAIN Clean Fuel will direct and manage all downstream activities related to providing its customers with an environmentally-safe renewable energy source.

“GAIN is working with landfills, wastewater treatment plants and dairies in various capacities, such as gas offtake, fixed price offers and equity investments,” says Mike Koel, president of GAIN Clean Fuel/U.S. Gain, a division of U.S. Venture Inc. “This project not only improves the air quality in the city, but it enables the city to use their own resources for profit and strengthen their focus on sustainability.”

The city’s wastewater treatment plant will produce enough RNG to fuel about 35 class 8 trucks daily. That results in displacing more than 640,000 gallons of diesel with a cleaner fuel, reducing transportation-related emissions.

“We are proud to invest in this type of venture to help the City of Dubuque advance their sustainability initiatives and we’re thrilled to work with U.S. Gain on our second project together,” says Greg MacLean, president of BRD.

RNG is an ultra-clean, very low-carbon natural gas alternative. For energy purposes, RNG is chemically identical to pipeline quality gas, but is a product created by the decomposition of organic materials in renewable waste streams. RNG relies on the same infrastructure as fossil fuel natural gas, such as pipelines, gas compressors, refueling stations and vehicle engine technology. The key difference of RNG is its renewable characteristics verses geologic sources of compressed natural gas (CNG).

“Dubuque’s vision of sustainability is one of economic prosperity, environmental integrity, and social and cultural vibrancy,” says Dubuque Mayor Roy D. Buol. “This project results in new revenue to the city, the reuse of waste, and progress in cleaner air. It’s a ‘win-win-win.’”

As companies evaluate alternative fuel for their fleets, considering lifecycle emissions is crucial to understanding the true environmental impact. RNG is the only available alternative fuel that reduces emissions during production and also use—elevating demand for producers and fleets (consumers) alike.

“RNG production is rapidly growing across the nation, due to investments from companies like GAIN Clean Fuel,” says Koel. “We have three more sites expected to come online soon and many more in development. Our vision is to rapidly expand availability of RNG—improving air quality through localized methane capture and reduced tailpipe emissions.”