Use of fossil fuels for transportation is a leading source of climate-changing greenhouse gases. Sure, new technology cars allow us to reduce or even eliminate the use of gas and oil, but only if you can afford the upgrade. In the mean time, many of us are stuck wishing there was something, anything, else to put in the tank.
For those living in California, a convenient alternative is now available. Clean Energy, a company known for providing fuel for natural gas vehicles, recently launched a new type of fuel made entirely from organic waste, including trash from landfills and by-products from large dairies and sewage plants.
Called “Redeem,” the fuel is said to be up to 90 percent cleaner than diesel and 100 percent renewable. The waste fuel is already flowing through the engines of thousands of cars, taxis, shuttles and industrial fleets in California, and will soon be available at 35 public Clean Energy stations.
Redeem is a type of natural gas often referred to as biomethane. It’s made by capturing and extracting the methane produced by landfills and other waste streams. Instead of allowing the biogas from this rotting waste to escape into the atmosphere, Clean Energy processes, purifies and distributes it via an interstate natural gas pipeline.
Is the name ‘Clean Energy’ somewhat misleading for a natural gas company? Of course. Even if every single driver in the U.S. switched to biogas tomorrow, it wouldn’t pull us back from the polluted brink. But, as I see it, we’re not doing anything else with all that waste, and sourcing from landfills is better than fracking our communities to extract the pure stuff.
According to a press release, the California Air Resource Board estimates that using a waste fuel sourced from landfill gas can enable up to a 90 percent reduction in carbon emissions when displacing diesel or gasoline in CNG. A fleet that consumes 1,000,000 gallons of gasoline per year can reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 9,700 metric tons by switching to Redeem, which is the equivalent of taking 1,940 passenger cars off the road per year, according to Clean Energy.
“Redeem is the lowest carbon footprint fuel commercially available and the only affordable renewable fuel for heavy duty trucks,” said Harrison Clay, president of Clean Energy subsidiary Clean Energy Renewable Fuels, in a statement. “We believe this creates an environmental and economic incentive for companies inside and outside California who are looking to make a major reduction in the greenhouse gas emissions from their fleet operations while still saving on their fuel bill. Redeem makes that possible.”
Future plans include installation of 400 fueling stations throughout the nation and the development of multiple biomethane production facilities that are expected to produce Redeem.
Images via Clean Energy