Published by Green Car Congress
Element Markets Renewable Energy (EMRE) has filed applications for certification of three California LCFS (Low Carbon Fuel Standard) Tier 2 pathways for biomethane (Bio-CNG, Bio-LNG, and Bio-L-CNG) from anaerobic digestion of swine manure produced by Valley View Farms located in Greencastle, Missouri. The calculated carbon intensities are -345.68, -334.41, and -330.87 gCO2e/MJ, respectively.
Smithfield owns and operates the swine farm. Roeslein Alternative Energy, LLC and Smithfield, through Roeslein Alternative Energy of Missouri, LLC, jointly own and operate the biogas collection and processing equipment at the site and own the resulting biomethane.
EMRE purchases and markets the pipeline-injected biomethane and imports it to California for dispensing as CNG or LNG transportation fuel.
Valley View Farms has an average swine population in the range of 40,000 to 50,000. The swine manure is digested in covered lagoons and the biogas control system captures methane that would otherwise be emitted to the atmosphere under baseline manure treatment in anaerobic lagoons.
Biogas is supplied to the gas upgrading facility. Prior to building covered lagoons there were 14 uncovered lagoons (baseline) and all were converted to covered lagoons. However, only six of the covered lagoons are connected to the upgrading facility; all six are included in the analysis.
There is no solid-liquid separation before or after the lagoons. The digested manure from the covered lagoons goes to the anaerobic effluent pond (equalization basin) followed by the aerobic treatment basin and land application.
Any biogas that is not sent to the upgrading facility is either recirculated back to the covered lagoons or flared in the thermal oxidizer (TOX) unit, which also burns the tail gas from the upgrading facility. Natural gas and grid electricity are used for biogas upgrading and compression.
The upgrading facility produces pipeline-quality RNG. RNG is compressed and transported by tube trailer truck to the pipeline injection site located at Ruckman Farms.
EMRE meters the fuel at production, loading, and offloading, and maintains a detailed trucking manifest to demonstrate chain of custody of biomethane quantities transported by truck. RNG is offloaded at Ruckman Farms and injected into the common carrier natural gas pipeline.
Beginning July 2019, the project also started to inject a portion of RNG into the Milan City pipeline system via a 13-mile lateral pipeline (without trucking).
The calculated CI in the application represents RNG transported by truck and injected at Ruckman Farms; RNG that is injected onsite at Valley View Farms would have a lower CI and qualifies for reporting under the same pathway.
Pipeline-injected RNG is delivered to CNG stations in the Los Angeles area, or to Applied Natural Gas Fuels, Inc. LNG facility in Topock, Arizona and transported to CNG/LNG stations in California by truck.