The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has qualified additional renewable fuel production pathways and pathway components that could be used in producing qualifying renewable fuel under the RFS (Renewable Fuel Standard) program. This final rule describes EPA’s evaluation of biofuels derived from biogas fuel pathways under the RFS program. The changes pertaining to biomethane production are described below.
According to the regulatory announcement this action qualifies the following as cellulosic and advanced fuel pathways under the Renewable Fuels Standards (RFS):
- Compressed natural gas produced from biogas from landfills, municipal wastewater treatment facility digesters, agricultural digesters, and separated MSW digesters
- Liquefied natural gas produced from biogas from landfills, municipal wastewater treatment facility digesters, agricultural digesters, and separated MSW digesters
EPA says these pathways have the potential to provide notable volumes of cellulosic biofuel for use in complying with the RFS program, since significant volumes of advanced biofuels are already being generated for fuel made from biogas, and in many cases this same fuel will qualify for cellulosic renewable identification numbers (RINs) when this rule becomes effective.
Portions of the June 14, 2013 proposal are not being finalized at this time, including the definition of “producer” for renewable CNG/LNG.
Renewable Fuel Standard
EPA is responsible for developing and implementing regulations to ensure that transportation fuel sold in the United States contains a minimum volume of renewable fuel. The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program regulations were developed in collaboration with refiners, renewable fuel producers, and many other stakeholders.
The expanded RFS program lays the foundation for achieving significant reductions of greenhouse gas emissions from the use of renewable fuels, for reducing imported petroleum, and encouraging the development and expansion of our nation’s renewable fuels sector.