If you enjoy the clean air in Oregon, its time to thank a cow. Since July 2019, dairy cows are contributing to cleaner air in our atmosphere, thanks to a $55 million investment and partnership between Threemile Canyon Farms, Equilibrium, and Iogen Corporation.
Since it’s founding in 1999, Threemile Canyon Farms in Boardman, Oregon has prided itself in combining sustainable operations and healthy employment practices to create a farming business that positively impacts its local community every day.
Equilibrium is an international organization with a location in Portland, Oregon providing capital investments in products and technology that promote sustainability.
Iogen Corporation has over 35 years of expertise in the biofuel industry and is a leader in developing technologies to make clean-burning, renewable biofuels from agricultural residues and other organic wastes.
Thanks to this new partnership project, manure from Threemile Canyon Farm’s 33,000 dairy cows is now processed through an anaerobic digester and biogas cleanup system to create renewable natural gas (RNG). This operation is the largest of its kind in the United States.
Once produced, the RNG is supplied to the natural gas grid and is used as an alternative biofuel for select transportation vehicles. In fact, the RNG supplied from these operations is estimated to eliminate 130,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually. That’s equivalent to removing 28,000 cars from our roads!
How does RNG work?
When plant or animal materials deteriorate, methane gas is released into the atmosphere. If we can trap it, we can convert that methane gas into natural gas.
In this case, the organic material—manure—is collected and placed in an oxygen-free (anaerobic), temperature-controlled tank. In this environment, the naturally occurring bacteria breaks down the manure, creating a biogas composed primarily of methane and carbon dioxide and also small quantities of other gases.
Next, the biogas goes through a cleansing process where residual gases and carbon dioxide are removed. The remaining purified product—Renewable Natural Gas—can now be used interchangeably with conventional natural gas. Click here to learn more about how Renewable Natural Gas is produced.
Want to learn more about biofuels and other forms of alternative energy?
The Rogue Valley Clean Cities Coalition’s mission is enhancing the livability of the Rogue Valley. We promote and educate on alternate fuels, seek to decrease dependency on petroleum, and promote clean air and water in the Rogue Valley via alternate fuels. Contact us today for more information!