UK supermajor BP has announced a 15-year agreement with Maryland-based CleanBay Renewables to purchase renewable natural gas (RNG) for the US transportation sector, specifically the California market.
While several RNG ventures using agricultural feedstocks use cow manure from dairy farms, CleanBay’s RNG is processed from poultry litter, including manure, feathers, and bedding.
The poultry litter is mixed with water in an anaerobic digester, which uses micro-organisms to break down the matter and produce biogas. The biogas includes methane and can be processed into RNG to fuel vehicles.
Renewable natural gas is a growing energy source in the energy transition — Chevron also extended an RNG partnership on Tuesday — since the feedstock, often cow manure, would have released significant greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere if it was not used in the anaerobic process.
In this agreement, BP will buy the RNG from CleanBay and sell the fuel to its customers, initially in California.
The state’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard provides incentives to reduce the carbon intensity of the transportation sector, given that vehicles fuelled by RNG are estimated to produce 95% less lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions than vehicles fuelled by gasoline or diesel, according to the US Department of Energy.
“RNG is a necessary energy transition approach in the near-term, but green hydrogen and the use of RNG to power electric vehicle charging stations will be the backbone of a fast transition to a net zero future,” CleanBay chief executive Donal Buckley said.
BP announced earlier this year another partnership with Michigan-based Aria Energy to produce renewable natural gas from farm waste at three California dairy farms.
Meanwhile, US supermajor Chevron announced on Tuesday that it is extending a partnership with global waste solutions company Brightmark on their joint venture Brightmark RNG Holdings.
This partnership, which was launched in October and extended in February, produces dairy biomethane that Chevron purchases and sells to the transportation sector.
“This latest expansion with Brightmark advances our strategy of higher returns and lower carbon,” said Andy Walz, president of Chevron’s Americas Fuels & Lubricants.
“Opportunities like these not only reaffirm our commitment to investing in ways that are good for the environment, our consumers and our stockholders, they also bolster our previously announced objective to increase RNG volumes tenfold by 2025 over 2020 volumes.”
Chevron is also working with California BioEnergy to produce RNG from dairy farms, announcing its first production last year.