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The Public Company Converting Manure To Renewable Natural Gas

February 10, 2024
x min read

There’s a new production facility in South Dakota that is turning livestock manure into renewable natural gas.

What’s happening:

  • Clean Energy Fuels (NASDAQ:CLNE) has officially begun production at their new gas digester facility for renewable natural gas located on a dairy farm in South Dakota

The big idea:

  • Renewable natural gas is exactly the same as natural gas on a chemical composition level, however it is produced entirely through organic waste instead of drilling or fracking
  • When organic waste or livestock manure decays it produces methane gas, which can them be processed and purified and turned into renewable natural gas

How it works:

  • Organic waste or livestock manure is collected and then transported into a large tanker known as a digester
  • As the manure or organic waste decomposes, it produces methane gas emissions which are then trapped inside of the digester preventing it from entering the atmosphere
  • Those methane gas emissions then go through a process of being purified and turned into renewable natural gas that can be directly put into existing natural gas pipeline infrastructure to go to fuelling stations

By the numbers:

  • The cost of building Clean Energy Fuels newest production facility was $34M USD
  • It is expected to produce 1M gallons of negative carbon intensity renewable natural gas
  • The production facility is built on site at a 5,000 dairy cow farm in South Dakota
  • Clean Energy Fuels currently has more than 600 fuelling locations across North America that provide renewable natural gas for commercial transportation vehicles

Why it matters:

  • Renewable natural gas has enormous potential for the environment, as it reduces carbon emissions both at the source of production and while it’s being used as fuel for commercial vehicles
  • Switching from diesel fuelled vehicles to renewable natural gas vehicles is one of the easiest way for large companies to drastically reduce their carbon footprint

Going deeper:

  • Clean Energy Fuels has partnerships with a variety of notable companies, including Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and UPS (NYSE: UPS)

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