Renewable natural gas continues to gain ground as an alternative fuel; 69% of all on-road fuel used in natural gas vehicles in 2022 was RNG, surpassing the previous year’s record-breaking level, according to a report from Natural Gas Vehicles for America and the Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas.
Captured above-ground from organic material in agricultural, wastewater, landfill, or food waste, RNG can produce carbon-negative results when fueling on-road vehicles such as short- and long-haul trucks, transit buses, and refuse and recycling collection vehicles. California Air Resources Board data confirms that the annual average carbon intensity value of California’s bio-CNG vehicle fuel portfolio in its Low Carbon Fuel Standard program is carbon negative and below zero at -92.26 gCO2e/MJ.
RNG use as a transportation fuel grew 17% over 2021 volumes, up 218% from 2018 levels. NGVAmerica and RNG Coalition report that in 2022, a total of 663 million gallons gasoline gallon equivalent of natural gas were used as motor fuel. Of that, 457 million gallon-equivalents were from renewable sources.
“RNG-fueled heavy-duty vehicles are a scalable, affordable, and carbon-free-today solution for freight and transit fleets of all sizes,” said Dan Gage, president of NGVAmerica, in a statement. “And with the upcoming availability of a 15L engine option, commercial fleet applications with the biggest torque and horsepower needs will also be able to transition to ultra-clean renewable natural gas motor fuel and displace diesel, saving on fueling costs and slashing their greenhouse gas emissions.”
RNG use as a motor fuel in 2022 displaced 5.63 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). Put into perspective, RNG motor fuel use last year:
- Lowered greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing the GHG from almost 14 billion miles driven by the average passenger car.
- Eliminated CO2 emissions equivalent to removing CO2 emissions from almost 633 million gallons of gasoline consumed.
- Sequestered carbon equal to growing over 93 million tree seedlings for 10 years, or 6.66 million acres of U.S. forests for one year.
“Renewable Natural Gas supply is growing,” added Johannes Escudero, founder and CEO of Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas. “With 281 RNG facilities transforming waste into fuel, and another 476 planned or under construction, we are increasingly able to affordably offer consumers the opportunity to decarbonize with RNG.”