According to new data from California’s Air Resources Board (CARB) evaluated by an industry trade group, Vehicles running on renewable natural gas eliminated more Carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than they emitted for the first time last year as the intensity of the fuel continues to plummet.
More than a decade ago, California implemented measures to reduce the Carbon intensity of its transportation sector as part of a larger plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the state. According to the data, the usage of renewable natural gas (RNG) in truck, bus, and other vehicle fleets increased by 25% from 2019 to 2020 and has increased by more than 170 percent in the last five years.
Meanwhile, according to NGVAmerica President Dan Gage, the intensity of compressed natural gas obtained from renewable sources (bio-CNG) decreases as the fuel is increasingly derived from very Carbon-negative agricultural waste such as cow manure. RNG is also made from trash in landfills and human waste in water treatment plants, both of which have neutral to positive scores.
According to CARB statistics collected by NGVAmerica, the average yearly intensity of bio-CNG in 2020 was -5.845 gCO2e/MJ – a unit that quantifies Carbon dioxide equivalent per megajoule of energy – compared to 32.735 gCO2e/MJ the previous year. Natural gas cars are still a modest proportion of the transportation sector in the United States. Only about 175,000 of the 180 million vehicles on American roads rely on natural gas.
According to U.S. federal data, medium- and heavy-duty trucks, which account for more than a fifth of the industry’s greenhouse gas emissions, although accounting for less than 5% of the road fleet, deliver the majority of freight in the United States.