Learn more about Renewable Natural Gas, its use and impact on the environment.


What is Renewable Natural Gas (RNG)?

RNG is a high-BTU, pipeline quality biomethane that is derived from organic waste materials. It is processed to be fully interchangeable with fossil-based natural gas and is delivered through the existing or mobile pipeline infrastructure. 

Where does RNG come from?

When organic material* decomposes in anaerobic conditions a gas is produced that is often referred to as biogas. Biogas is processed to remove impurities, CO2 and the remaining contaminants which increases the methane content to reach pipeline specifications for natural gas. The resulting product is RNG. 

*Organic material can be sourced from landfills, livestock operations, and water treatment plants, among other organic waste sources. It is either collected and processed at the landfill site or in an anaerobic digester.  

How can RNG can be used?
Renewable natural gas can be used interchangeably with fossil natural gas. It is often used as a replacement for diesel fuel in vehicles and as a heating source in buildings. It also has industrial applications.
What are the sources of RNG?
The biggest sources of RNG in the U.S. are landfills because they produce predictable gas flows. Agricultural manure also produces biogas with much higher methane content but with significantly lower gas volumes.
What are the benefits of RNG?
RNG has several benefits including the diversification of the domestic fuel supply, the reduction of greenhouse gases, and significantly better improvement of air quality compared to other fuel sources. It also lowers reliance on fossil fuel use. RNG produces environmental attributes which can be monetized because its carbon intensity is about 50% lower than diesel. RNG is also the lowest-emission standard transportation fuel.
How much RNG can the United States produce?

The United States generates millions of tons of waste each year from which biomethane can be derived to create RNG. Only a fraction of the gas produced from waste is currently being used to produce biomethane. As a result, there is significant future potential for the expansion of RNG. It is estimated that from 780,000 million to 1,400 billion cubic feet (BCF) of biomethane could be produced from sources requiring anaerobic digestion, such as landfills and manure. 

How expensive is RNG to produce and use?
RNG is price competitive as a fuel source and is one of the most economical carbon emissions reduction strategies available. As the market grows and production volume increases, RNG will see a further cost reduction.
How reliable is RNG?

Extremely reliable. RNG is made from biogas, and biogas is created 24/7 by natural anaerobic digestion. Most of our sites are interconnected through the national pipeline network, and an extended outage at one RNG plant can be covered by other RNG plants.

Is a long-term RNG agreement like an electric power purchase agreement (PPA)?
Yes. Your organization will own the RNG produced at a facility and like an electricity power purchase agreement, all the renewable natural gas under that agreement will have corresponding environmental benefits.
Why are RNG prices higher than fossil-derived natural gas prices?

RNG's environmental benefits have tremendous value. The gas has value in the federal Renewable Fuel Standard market - generating D-3 RINs, state program benefits (California, Oregon) as well as carbon offsets. The value of those credits today can be worth well over $15/MMBtu. Archaea can structure an agreement to enable customers to monetize RNG credits for a period of time and then transition the RNG to use for offsetting Scope 1 (direct) emissions. 

How will renewable natural gas affect energy use in the future?

By using a fuel that’s made using organic waste, RNG serves as a near-term solution to a cleaner energy future. Using RNG as opposed to traditional fuels will help reduce emissions and brings us closer to a greener future.



Why are landfills important in the production of RNG?
Landfills provide the lowest cost, the most predictable and longest-term feedstock of any renewable fuel.
How is landfill gas (LFG) generated?
LFG is a byproduct of the natural process of the bacterial decomposition of organic materials at municipal solid waste sites.
What are the benefits of transforming LFG into RNG?
Using landfill gas as a source of RNG reduces the hazards associated with LFG emissions and prevents methane from being released into the atmosphere which contributes to smog and increases greenhouse gas concentrations.
Why should landfills capture and process methane?

In a landfill, naturally-occurring anaerobic digestion of organic matter produces biogas over a 30-50 year timeframe. About half of this gas is methane, which if not collected escapes into the atmosphere where it is 25 times more destructive than CO2 as a greenhouse gas. Modern landfills with strong collection and processing systems can purify this gas up to pipeline quality renewable natural gas.

Why use landfills as a source of methane as opposed to other sources of biogas?

Solid waste landfills are the third-largest source of methane emissions, and it is often more economical to collect LFG relative to other waste sources. Landfills produce biogas in a concentrated area which can be contained, purified at the source, and delivered directly into pipelines. LFG also creates several potential revenue sources.

Is RNG the same as raw landfill gas?
No. The biogas from landfills has to be purified before it can be used as fuel. Archaea purifies landfill gases to produce almost pure methane which is used as the fuel source. The gases and particulates are separated, with CO2 being captured and sequestered, and other impurities burned off.
How can a landfill produce RNG?

Landfills are retrofitted to direct biogas to processors which convert LFG into a purified RNG.

Do I have to change my facility to use RNG from a landfill?
No. The advantage of RNG is that it is pipeline quality and a drop-in replacement for natural gas. There is zero risk to your processes and the quality of your products.  Additionally, RNG offers a near-term impact on climate change with no large capital investment. RNG gives you the flexibility to upgrade your equipment on your timeline.

Off-Take Partners

Who are Archaea’s off-take partners?
Archaea has off-take partners across many industries. They include higher education institutions, large corporations, municipalities, and utilities, among others. See our projects here.
How does Archaea work with off-take partners?

We formulate our strategy to each unique partner’s needs. No two strategies are exactly alike.

What do agreements with off-take partners look like?
They can vary greatly and are customized to each partner, but they can include interconnection agreements, the development of power infrastructure, and gas rights agreements.
What types of off-take partner agreements is Archaea working on?
Archaea is currently working with partners on long-term RNG off-take agreements.