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Environmental Sustainability: Biogas as an Alternative Energy Source

How often do you think about protecting the environment or lowering your personal carbon footprint? Now is the perfect time to consider the importance of environmental sustainability as April is National Sustainability Month. Even outside of this month, environmental sustainability is an increasingly popular topic of conversation as the effects of traditional energy methods have become evident.

In today’s world many people, companies, and industries are taking strides to protect our planet and minimize their environmental footprint. The oil and gas industry is playing a key role in this effort by beginning to look for alternative energy sources. Environmentally sustainable practices such as reducing energy consumption, utilizing sustainable materials, and supporting sustainable infrastructure are being explored by the industry. Creating and utilizing clean energy sources, such as biogas, is paramount to environmental efforts.

Biogas has progressively entered the conversation on alternative energy. It is produced from the natural degradation of organic material and can be used in most of the same ways natural gas is used – from fueling electricity generation to the injection into the local natural gas utility pipelines. Biogas can also be created at a variety of facilities, some of which include landfills, wastewater facility treatment plants, food processing facilities, and dairy farms.

Ross Group Engineering has embraced biogas as an alternative energy option and is currently performing the design for a new renewable natural gas dairy farm facility in Wisconsin. The process will convert food waste and cow manure into renewable natural gas through anaerobic digestion. One of the main benefits of this form of biogas is the low carbon footprint. By converting organic waste to energy, we can reduce and, in some cases, eliminate the amount of waste that would otherwise be left to decompose and emit methane into the atmosphere. This helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and decreases waste pollution while providing renewable energy.

A key component of being sustainable means being conscious of where our waste goes and how it impacts the environment. Every city in the world produces waste, which makes the possibility of producing biogas instead of CO2 from that waste incredibly important to sustainability efforts, since CO2 emissions are the primary contributor to global climate change.

“Two years ago, it was more difficult for companies to break into the sustainability side of the biogas industry. There are now government incentives that help sustainability projects be economical, enticing more companies to seriously weigh the advantages of the industry.” – Jason Seneker

While the cost of switching to clean energy is initially high, the long-term benefits outweigh the short-term expense. While there has always been an extra cost to being responsible with the environment, the investment will pay off in the long run as the sustainability market becomes more competitive, which will eventually lower the cost of these new technologies. Environmental sustainability within the oil and gas industry and the use of alternative energy sources, such as biogas, are crucial for protecting the planet, reducing operating costs, and creating healthier and more productive living environments.



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