Can Natural Gas be a renewable source of energy?

You may look at natural gas as a ‘fossil fuel’ created through millennia by decaying organic matter trapped in rock layers formed hundreds of millions of years ago. And while you're correct—did you know we have other sources of natural gas available to us today?

The Canadian Gas Association explains another, renewable, source of natural gas that is increasingly becoming part of our energy mix:

“Renewable Natural Gas is produced from organic waste from farms, forests, landfills, and water treatment plants. The gas is captured, cleaned, and injected in pipelines to be used in the same way as natural gas by homes, businesses, institutions, and industry. Harnessing even 10 per cent of Canada’s RNG potential would generate enough clean energy to heat 1 million Canadian homes for a year.”

Sometimes referred to as biogas, renewable natural gas is often produced through a biological chemical process known as anaerobic digestion. The U.S. Department of Energy defines anaerobic digestion as:

"[A] series of processes in which microorganisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen"

Some facilities also use chemical reaction processes based on heat or pressure to produce RNG. Whether the RNG comes from landfills, livestock operations, wastewater treatment facilities or other sources, the produced gas can be upgraded to the quality necessary to heat our homes, fuel our vehicles or power our electricity generators.

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