Closing the Loop is a collaborative initiative of the Canadian Biogas Association, and supported by the partners outlined below. It involves working with municipalities, food processors and their energy and waste partners (i.e., waste haulers and energy utilities) to close the loop on organic materials by diverting these materials from landfill, and using them to generate biogas and renewable natural gas (RNG). The project promotes RNG as a vehicle fuel as a way to close the loop on diverting organic material.
Closing the Loop builds on the visionary work of leading municipalities that have a sustainability focus and are moving to reduce emissions and transportation costs, while recycling organic material. Through a range of activities listed below, the initiative raises awareness and prompts action through making connections.
Natural Resources Canada and Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs have teamed up to promote energy efficiency in the food sector. Industry leaders heard about the Closing the Loop initiative first-hand at their May 2015 meeting in Guelph.
This comprehensive primer shows you how your organization can close the loop. It helps identify if compressed natural gas (CNG) and RNG are right for you, outlines how RNG fits with municipal planning and policy development, and highlights case studies and lessons learned. It outlines the business case, steps to success, and helps you build support for switching to this amazing renewable fuel.
Municipalities are switching their waste and transit fleets, and procurement requirements, to compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles due to lower natural gas prices and improved CNG vehicle technology. Municipalities prefer CNG to diesel because of the lower cost and greenhouse gas emissions. Blending in 10% RNG further reduces emissions, and costs only an additional 5 cents per diesel litre equivalent.
This makes a CNG/RNG blend cost effective at about half the price of diesel. Municipalities can also generate RNG from their own operations. Biogas from source separated organics (SSO) treatment, wastewater treatment, or landfill gas can be upgraded to RNG. Incentives are available.
Waste haulers are increasingly switching to compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles due to lower natural gas prices and improved CNG vehicle technology. Municipalities prefer CNG to diesel because of the lower cost and greenhouse gas emissions. Blending in 10% RNG further reduces emissions, and costs only an additional 5 cents per diesel litre equivalent.
This makes a CNG/RNG blend cost effective at about half the price of diesel. Action is being taken by private industry, and by leading municipalities.
Food processors and their waste haulers can close the loop by diverting their organic waste outputs to anaerobic digestion (AD) facilities instead of sending them to landfill. They can also consider purchasing RNG as a vehicle fuel, or work with their waste haulers to make the switch, which closes the loop by using the outputs of food processing as an input or fuel to the waste vehicles.
First, sending material to biogas facilities is cost competitive with landfill for Ontario companies, and has a number of benefits:
Second, food processors that have sustainability goals can consider using a blend of conventional compressed natural gas (CNG) and RNG for their trucking needs. Many fleets are making the switch to CNG to diesel because of the lower cost and 30% lower greenhouse gas emissions. Blending in 10% RNG further reduces emissions, and costs only an additional 5 cents per diesel litre equivalent.
“Redeem” is a branded RNG fuel by Clean Energy Fuels that is available across the US to natural gas vehicle fleets including heavy-duty trucks, refuse trucks, airport shuttles, taxis, and buses. The RNG comes from waste streams such as landfills, large dairies and sewage plants. Thousands of cars, taxis, shuttles and industrial fleets in California are now using Redeem, which is up to 90% cleaner than diesel and 100% renewable. A south-west Ontario farm-based RNG project is in development that will supply several truck fleets, including milk trucks, and could supply several more.
This project was funded in part through Growing Forward 2 (GF2), a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The Agricultural Adaptation Council assists in the delivery of GF2 in Ontario.
The views expressed in this report are the views of the Canadian Biogas Association and do not necessarily reflect those of the governments of Canada and Ontario.