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Gevo starts up dairy RNG project

US-headed biofuels- and biochemicals producer and process developer Gevo Inc., has announced that it has begun the process of bringing its wholly-owned dairy manure-based renewable natural gas (RNG) project online.

In the United States (US), Gevo Inc. has begun the process of bringing its wholly-owned dairy manure-based renewable natural gas (RNG) project online (photo courtesy Gevo).

Located in northwest Iowa, the project is known as Gevo NW Iowa RNG, LLC, and it is expected to produce approximately 355 000 MMBtu of RNG per year.

We’re excited to get NW Iowa RNG online, right on schedule. Our team here has done a terrific job, creating a facility that will become an example of how renewable energy can work for years to come, and we’re excited to bring our partnership with area farmers to the next stage, said Dr Chris Ryan, President, and COO of Gevo.

Dairy RNG fits the business model

NW Iowa RNG fits in with Gevo’s business model of exploring ways to use renewable carbon to make the most of energy opportunities by dialing in sustainability and optimizing renewable resources.

Because dairy manure left in lagoons and used as a fertilizer releases high levels of methane to the atmosphere, there is an opportunity to capture that methane as biogas and refine it to be used as RNG.

Doing so has no impact on the fertilizer and nutrients available, yet creates more options to sustainably manage fertilizers for sustainable farming practices. That kind of smart thinking and waste reduction is a cornerstone of the circular economy at the core of Gevo’s business model.

Destined for the Californian transportation market

As reported in August 2021, the RNG is expected to be sold into the California market under dispensing agreements bp has in place with Clean Energy Fuels Corporation, the largest fueling infrastructure in the US for RNG.

The facility is expected to lead to US$9 million to US$16 million a year of distributions from the project expected to begin in late 2022, or early 2023 depending on the timing of the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS).

It is anticipated that NW Iowa RNG will benefit from environmental product revenues under California’s LCFS program and the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program.

RNG-fueled vehicles are estimated to result in up to 95 percent lower emissions than those fueled by gasoline or diesel on a lifecycle basis, according to a US Department of Energy (DOE) study.

The farmers have demonstrated that they are willing to try something new. By creating a renewable energy source that reduces the greenhouse gas footprint of agriculture while providing meaningful renewable energy where it’s badly needed—that kind of foresight will make a difference in the long term far beyond Northwest Iowa, ended Dr Chris Ryan.

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