Indiana milk producer Fair Oaks Dairy will celebrate the launch of its biogas to compressed biomethane gas (CBG) system on December 4. Renewable Dairy Fuels (RDF), a biogas-to-CNG transport project and affiliate of Fair Oaks Farms, contracted Clean Energy Fuels to construct a compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station at Fair Oaks mid-2011; commissioning of the CBG plant will now enable CNG-powered fleet vehicles to utilise renewable natural gas. Use of biomethane as a vehicle fuel can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 88% as compared to gasoline.
The Indiana Office of Energy Development (OED), in partnership with the Greater Indiana Clean Cities Coalition partnered to apply and award $10,125,000 from the US DOE Clean Cities Program 2009, Category 4 Solicitation (ARRA Funding) to secure funds to deploy alternative fuel and hybrid vehicles, and necessary infrastructure to support the fleets, across Indiana.
Greenlane Biogas, a subsidiary of the Flotech Group of companies, installed a ‘Totara+’ biogas upgrading system at the Fair Oaks Dairy farm to process up to 1500 scfm (approximately 2500 Nm3/hr) of biogas. Greenlane’s process uses only water to upgrade biogas to natural gas pipeline grade or CNG vehicle fuel, making the system well suited to operate safely within a dairy operation.
UTS Residual Processing, an Anaergia Company, will operate the biogas upgrading plant.
Ruan Transportation Management Systems, one of the largest privately held trucking companies in the U.S., has partnered with Fair Oaks Farms to manage its compressed natural gas (CNG) fleet in Indiana. The fleet, operated by Ruan, includes 42 milk hauling trucks powered by natural gas. The fleet vehicles have an 80,000 pound hauling capacity and a range of almost 650 miles, transporting milk to processing plants in three midwestern states.
In a process called anaerobic digestion, microorganisms feed on cow manure and excrete methane, which Fair Oaks Farms traps and processes. The gas is piped directly to the fueling station in Fair Oaks, for compression and distribution. The Ruan fleet will fuel at this location and at another Clean Energy Fuels-constructed CNG station in Sellersburg in southern Indiana.
Ruan transports more than 300,000 gallons of milk each day to plants in the Midwest and travels more than 11 million miles annually. The CNG trucks replace diesel-powered models and, by displacing more than one and a half million gallons of diesel per year, significantly reduce both direct emissions and the traditional carbon footprint of energy production.