Decomposition of organic matter results in the release of natural gas in the form of methane, which can be purified to remove harmful compounds and increase its potency. That product can then be put through conventional pipelines for delivery to end users.
The decomposition of cow manure yields some methane, which can be refined and purified to a source of natural gas the industry considers renewable. File photo by Bill Greenblat/UPI
Developments over five South Dakota farms could generate around 525 million cubic feet of renewable natural gas per year once projects are completed in 2024. To put that in perspective, the Bakken shale basin in the Northern Plains, one of the lowest-producing shale gas basins, is on pace to yield around 3 million cubic feet of natural gas per day in January.
"We are pleased to be partnering with industry-leading developers on this project that will substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions, using dairy RNG as a vehicle fuel," Robert Beard, the chief operations officer at UGI, said.