Riding a Wave of Waste to a Clean Energy Future | AIChE

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Riding a Wave of Waste to a Clean Energy Future

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While New York City is renowned for its extensive subway network, it also boasts one of the country’s largest bus systems, with an annual ridership of more than 650 million. New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), which operates both the subway and bus systems, has set a goal of eliminating emissions from its bus fleet by 2040.

The path to achieving this goal involves more than just swapping electricity for diesel. Of the 5,800 buses operated by the MTA, 800 are currently fueled by compressed natural gas, which is commonly used as a cleaner alternative to diesel. While natural gas is traditionally sourced from wells dug deep within the Earth, it can also be made from decomposing organic waste, which yields biomethane or renewable natural gas (RNG). The MTA has contracted with Clean Energy Fuels Corp. to switch from fossil-derived natural gas to RNG vehicle fuel, which will eliminate more than 25,000 m.t. of CO2 emissions each year. Transforming the transportation industry to clean energy is a critical step in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, as...

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