Renewable Natural Gas
Renewable Natural Gas is Green, Safe, and Efficient
Engineers can produce renewable natural gas (RNG) from naturally occurring sources such as food waste, lawn clippings, manure, and other animal/plant-based materials to create biodegradable fuel for cars and energy plants. Also known as biomethane or biogas, RNG can be produced using three different methods:
- Anaerobic digestion, in which microorganisms digest moist organic material and convert the energy into heat, which later processes convert into electricity
- Thermal gastrification, in which workers heat dry organic material so that it breaks into hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide, channeling the energy from broken chemical bonds into electricity
- Sabatier reaction, which creates carbon-neutral fuel by using pressure to break organic material into smaller hydrocarbon molecules, also generating electricity from the breakdown of chemical bonds
After sending raw materials through one of these reactions, workers purify the gas, removing compounds such as water, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen sulfide. After fully refining the RNG, energy grid professionals send it through natural gas pipelines along with gas obtained via fracking or other methods, allowing it to become a part of the overall supply of natural gas.
Complete Skid Systems
Skid systems create digesters and landfill gases, producing RNG that’s ready for use on-site or for transportation by pipelines. Incorporating skid systems will benefit all stages of the RNG production process, from raw feedback to final product processing. Skid-mounted systems remove deficiencies present in unrefined RNG, such as water, carbon dioxide, oxygenate, sulfur compounds, solvents, and liquefied petroleum gas.
Glauber Equipment designs a number of skid system components. Our offerings include:
- Feed blowers: These components increase pressure as part of the thermal gastrification process to prepare raw materials for treatment and compression. Feed blowers pair seamlessly with gas dehydration equipment and help mitigate the high moisture levels at the beginning of the RNG refinement process.
- Vacuum blowers: We offer vacuum blowers to separate carbon dioxide and methane membranes, which increases your equipment’s lifespan. Vacuum blowers also allow the gas to meet product specifications and requirements.
- Feed gas compressors: Engineers apply feed gas compressors to the positive pressure side of the methane membrane. They keep downstream equipment and compressors from harm using an inlet knockout. They also use moisture separators to enhance output purity.
- Product gas compressors: Product gas compressors manage pipeline-quality gas once it’s reached 95–99% methane content. These tools help compress clean and dry RNG, preparing it for transportation.
- Complete cooling systems: These systems maintain safe operating temperatures for RNG processing. They operate using cooling methods like heat exchanging systems, glycol pumps, and chilled water. They also use ambient air heat exchangers based on fan cooling or dry evaporative coolers.
Standards and Specifications
NEC Article 500 Hazardous (Classified) Locations: We engineer and design equipment suitable for hazardous areas based on the requirements of NEC Article 500. We design equipment applying various NEC Article 500 protection techniques including explosion-proof equipment, purged and pressurized systems, intrinsically safe systems, hermetically sealed contacts, and other protection techniques.
ASME Section VIII Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code: Glauber will size and select safety valves and relief valves per ASME requirements to ensure fluids are safely vented from systems if dangerous or damaging pressure is present. Glauber’s instrumentation and control systems can automatically detect and shut down systems to maintain facility safety.
High-performance materials: Piping, elastomers, and panels must all safeguard against corrosive environments, aggressive fluids, and high temperatures. Our engineers can design systems for marine environments and extreme weather conditions. We also can design sound attenuation equipment enclosures if maximum decibel limits are specified on a project.
ASME B31.1 and B31.3 Piping Codes: We design equipment in accordance with ASME B31.1 Power Piping or ASME B31.3 Process Piping to meet application and client specification requirements.
Benefits of Switching to Renewable Natural Gas
Switching to RNG for energy production comes with a host of benefits, including:
- Reduced greenhouse gas emissions
- Improved waste management
- Increased domestic energy production
RNG burns cleaner than other types of gas—not to mention fossil fuels. RNG’s chemical properties allow it to break down methane during the combustion process, meaning that it does not release this toxic chemical to the Earth’s upper atmosphere. Its unique properties also allow it to recycle previously circulated carbon and factor that back into energy production.
Switching to RNG also helps your facility or community more efficiently manage waste. Engineers can synthesize RNGs from most biomasses, including compost, waste material from food or feed, or the parts of plants not used for human or animal consumption. This helps alleviate waste buildup at landfills while also allowing providing a good use for surplus material, reducing your carbon footprint. What’s more, domestically produced RNG requires less transportation and storage, further reducing both the environmental and economic impact of generating energy using this gas.
Applications of RNG
Many industries benefit from sending their waste to RNG producers for refining. Some of the most notable biomass suppliers include:
Landfills: Landfills already function as natural collection points for biomass that can be refined into RNG. Most landfills already produce their own form of biogas (called landfill gas, or LFG) naturally, and engineers can further refine this into RNG.
Livestock: Dairy, hog, and poultry farms produce substantial animal waste that can be refashioned into RNG. Animal manure is a great candidate for anaerobic gas production, producing biogas that is useful for vehicles that run on natural gas. Additionally, RNG producers can work with excess animal feed and additional organic products found on ranches.
Wastewater: Regularly straining wastewater for solid compounds can result in a wealth of organic compounds that can be refashioned into biogas. Implementing an RNG production process with biomass derived from wastewater can meet as much as 12% of national electricity demand.
Other sources: Many facilities produce at least some form of organic waste. Converting discarded biomass from industrial, institutional, and commercial facilities like supermarkets, restaurants, hospitals, and schools can yield a large amount of raw material that can be converted to RNG.