Biogas and Biomethane
Certain businesses produce organic waste that can be repurposed into a clean, renewable fuel source called biogas. When biogas is conditioned/upgraded to pipeline-quality natural gas, it becomes biomethane. Here are some types of businesses that tend to have their own supplies of the waste needed to make biomethane:
- Food processing companies
- Wastewater treatment plants
Benefits of Biomethane
You can use biomethane to power equipment that uses natural gas, or generate your own electricity on site. This is a great way to save money and energy overall:
- Lower emissions of unused "waste" methane
- Reduce the need for conventional fossil fuel
- Cut production and waste disposal costs
Unlike other sources of renewable energy—such as solar and wind—biomethane doesn’t need the sun to shine or the wind to blow. Waste material can be converted into deliverable, renewable energy 24/7!
Selling Biomethane on the Open Market
When biogas is conditioned into biomethane, it potentially sells at a higher price than natural gas. For example, in 2013 the SoCalGas® average natural gas price was $3.89 per MMBTU, while biomethane could have been sold for at least $10 to $13 per MMBTU. SoCalGas has an existing infrastructure of pipelines that can be used to transport biomethane almost anywhere in our service territory. Are you interested in learning more about how to interconnect with SoCalGas' open access system? Visit our Gas Suppliers page .1
How it Works
Where do biogas and biomethane come from? The process for converting biogas to biomethane is as follows:
- Waste products, such as sludge, food waste and manure are processed in a biodigester.
- The biodigester ferments the organic material through an anaerobic process, creating biogas — a mixture of methane and other gases.
- Produced biogas can then be conditioned and upgraded to remove the CO2 and other gas constituents to produce biomethane.
- Biomethane, which has the same components as the natural gas we all use today, is ready to be injected into the utility pipeline and transported to an end user.
Seeking to Condition/Upgrade Your Biogas?
SoCalGas has compiled a list of suppliers that includes project developers, consultants, equipment manufacturers, installers and others that may prove helpful to you in this process. Non-utility service providers may offer services that are the same or similar to the SoCalGas Biogas Conditioning/Upgrading Services Tariff and customers are encouraged to explore these service options.
1Provided for information purposes only. There are numerous qualified non-utility providers of products and services needed for construction and operation of biogas conditioning and upgrading facilities, but SoCalGas does not recommend or endorse the products or services of any particular party listed herein, or represent that the particular products or services are fit for any particular purpose or use. By publishing this list, SoCalGas is not acting in an advisory capacity, and does not assume any responsibility for use of the list by customers. Although commercially reasonable efforts are used in posting this list, no representation is made that it is complete or free from error. Related information is posted at socalgas.com. To be added to the list, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Vendors are listed alphabetically and the order of listing implies no preference.