Nebraska Looks to Capitalize on RNG Initiative


Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird has completed a project to use the biogas from a Lincoln, Neb., wastewater facility to produce vehicle fuel. The Lincoln Transportation and Utilities Department (LTU) began the biogas sustainability initiative at the Theresa Street Water Resource Recovery Facility in 2017.

“This sustainability initiative is a major accomplishment for the city as our team continues to upgrade our infrastructure in ways that also protect our environment and quality of life,” says Baird. “With this project completed, we are now actively creating vehicle fuel that is currently being sold on the national market. This upgrade is estimated to generate $2.6 million every year, recouping our costs in just over three years. The revenue will help to fund operations and further system improvements.”

The digestion of solids in the wastewater that goes to the facility produces methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Instead of flaring this gas, the city has used the biogas to generate electricity for the treatment plant since 1991. When the generators reached the end of their useful lives a few years ago, Lincoln Wastewater System decided to upgrade the technology to make even better use of that biogas. The new process treats, cleans and transforms the renewable natural gas (RNG) into quality vehicle fuel.

The city’s partners in the project include HDR Engineering, Building Crafts Inc. and Black Hills Energy, which built the infrastructure needed to connect the RNG to the national natural gas pipeline system. To get the RNG on the marketplace, the city is also partnering with Bluesource, a national energy management company. 

To access more information on Lincoln’s RNG conversion project, click here.

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