Renewable Natural Gas: Turning Waste into Energy [Infographic]

When I first saw the phrase “renewable natural gas” over at Sustainable America’s site, I thought “Hmmmm…. someone’s hired a PR firm.” OK, I suppose that fossil fuels are technically renewable… as long as you don’t mind waiting a few million years for that renewal. For those of us on a more human time frame, the methane and other gases emitted from decomposing organic matter work just as well as the stuff you have to frack out of the ground… and, as you can see in the infographic below, create all sorts of opportunities to deal with wastes more efficiently, and to even create a few jobs.

Yep, we’ve discussed renewable natural gas before: it’s often known as landfill gasΒ or biogas, or associated with with anaerobic digesters (a technology that extracts and collects biogas from organic wastes). It’s not the sexiest form of clean energy out there – in fact, it smells pretty bad – but its readily available, abundant, and gives us an opportunity to deal with one source of human contributions to global climate change. Not bad for stuff you’re probably throwing in the trash.

Spend some time with the infographic, as well as the blog post over at Sustainable America, and then let us know what you think. Is this a viable, scalable form of energy generation? Could we get people to install methane digesters in their backyards? And, does “renewable natural gas” still make you feel a little icky even though you know it’s not some mislabeling by the fracking crowd? Share your thoughts with us…

renewable natural gas infographic

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