Turning a Biogas Pathway
into an Electrified Roadway

What is Biogas?


Biogas is naturally produced in anaerobic environments from organic waste, such as manure, sewage and food and crop waste. When raw biogas is emitted into the atmosphere, its high methane content makes it one of the most damaging types of greenhouse gases. But when it is captured and used as renewable energy to generate electricity or power vehicles, it has one of the lowest life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions of any fuel.
Major Sources Of U.S. Methane Emissions:


Fossil Fuels 

Source: EPA

What we are doing now:


BR is now engaged in a nationwide effort to help and encourage the facilities described above do three things:
  • Capture increasing amounts of methane-rich biogas
  • Beneficially use biogas to generate renewable electricity
  • Participate in the Renewable Fuel Standard (“RFS”) program administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”)

If successful, those facilities will have an additional economic incentive – and a clear regulatory pathway under the RFS program – to reduce their harmful methane emissions, i.e., to capture and destroy methane by generating renewable electricity to replace the electricity consumed by electric vehicles (“EVs”).

The Electric RFS:


One way to increase revenues for projects that produce electricity with biogas is for the project to participate in the RFS program’s “renewable electricity pathway.” However, for a number of reasons that pathway, which EPA created in July of 2014, has thus far gone unutilized. As such, projects that can produce electricity with biogas are currently unable to participate in the RFS program, and that may render the project uneconomical.
BR is now working on three separate, but related initiatives to activate the RFS renewable electricity pathway:
  • Ensure that the RFS regulations do not impose a bias against renewable electricity that powers electric vehicles and in favor of other types of renewable fuels that power vehicles with internal combustion engines
  • Encourage EPA to quickly approve RFS-compliant registration applications that will optimize the scope and performance of the renewable electricity pathway
  • Ensure that adequate amounts of renewable electricity are included in EPA’s renewable volume obligations (“RVOs”).

Changing the status quo:


At the vast majority of landfills, animal farms, and wastewater treatment plants, the most practical way to beneficially use (i.e., destroy) methane is to capture it at its source (i.e., onsite at the facility that produces it) and use it to generate electricity that is then sold onto the electric grid. However, the price received for the electricity is often too low to make such projects economical. Our mission is to overcome the barriers to a robust biogas industry and ensure its participation in the RFS program.


BR’s success will help change the trajectory of our transportation and energy choices away from a near-total reliance on combustion engines and fossil fuels,  toward EVs powered by renewable electricity. We can have significant positive impacts on our environment  by powering electric vehicles with renewable electricity.

Key U.S. environmental programs:

EPA’s Methane Capture Programs

Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP) is a voluntary program that helps reduce methane emissions from landfills by encouraging the beneficial use of landfill gas (LFG) as a renewable energy resource.

AgSTAR promotes the use of biogas recovery systems to reduce methane emissions from livestock waste, and help achieve other social, environmental, agricultural and economic benefits.

EPA's Sustainable Materials Management Program

Sustainable Materials Management is a systemic approach to using and reusing materials more productively over their entire lifecycles. It represents a change in how our society thinks about the use of natural resources and environmental protection, presenting new opportunities to reduce environmental impacts, conserve resources, and reduce costs.

The Biogas Opportunities Roadmap

The multi-agency Biogas Opportunities Roadmap builds on progress made to date to identify voluntary actions that can be taken to reduce methane emissions through the use of biogas systems and outlines strategies to overcome barriers to a robust biogas industry in the United States.

Department of Energy’s EV Everywhere Program

The EV Everywhere program recognizes that vehicle electrification is an essential part of our country’s “all-of-the above” energy strategy. The goal of the 2012 program is for the U.S. to be the first nation in the world to produce plug-in electric vehicles that are as affordable for the average American family as today’s gasoline-powered vehicles within 10 years.

President Obama’s Climate Action and Clean Power Plans

Among other things,the Climate Action Plan will cut carbon pollution by deploying clean and renewable energy, increasing the use of advanced transportation technologies and fuels, including electric vehicles and biogas, increasing energy efficiency and productivity, reducing greenhouse gas emissions such as methane, and preserving forests.
A major component of the Climate Action Plan is the the Clean Power Plan, which sets achievable standards to significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions from electric power production. Increased production of renewable energy is a key strategy of this effort.

About BR:


In late 2013, Biogas Researchers, Inc. (“BR”), a not-for-profit organization,  was founded by Jim and Michael Lemon to perform an important environmental mission: through education, research and other charitable activities, increase the amount of methane-rich biogas that is captured and beneficially used at landfills, wastewater treatment plants, farms (dairy, swine, poultry, beef) and other biodigester facilities across the United States.
Research and Education:

BR is also performing research on renewable electricity and educating the governments, the public, and the biogas and electric vehicle industries about these issues and how participation in the RFS program can be greatly expanded.

Charitable Financial Support:
BR will, in the near future, also financially support projects that capture and beneficially use biogas, especially those that are small, and/or unregulated, and/or located in protected watersheds, and/or producing biogas with food waste.