Mar 23, 2018 | Updated: 09:54 AM EDT

City of Portland to Convert Methane From Sewage Treatment Process Into Renewable Natural Gas

May 02, 2017 06:44 PM EDT

The city of Portland has announced to initiate the project that creates renewable natural gas from methane produced by sewage treatment process. The natural gas will be sold as fuel to replace diesel fuel in trucks operated by the city.

Portland City council has approved the project last month. According to the Bureau of Environmental Services of the City of Portland, the project will convert methane, a byproduct of the sewage treatment process into a natural gas. This new and renewable natural gas will cut 21,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year and generated additional revenue of $3 million annually.

The city of Portland also expected to replace the fuel diesel needed run the city's garbage trucks with the new, clean and locally-produced fuel. Annually, 1.34 million gallons of diesel fuel is needed to run the 154 garbage trucks owned by the city administration. With the project, Portland plans to produce the Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) for those trucks.

Portland hopes by the end of this year, the facility is ready to use to refuel the city's trucks, as reported by Digital Trends. While within 2018, the city of Portland foresees the to be able to sell its RNG through the NW Natural network.

This project is located in Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant, to fully maximize the methane produced from the sewage treatment process. A day before the Earth Day, on April 21, Portland city council authorized the Bureau of Environmental Services to start building the infrastructure for producing the RNG. The city council also allocated a $12 million package for construction of the infrastructure, which is expected to achieve the payback period within four years.

“We are creating a triple-win for the public in terms of revenue, climate action, and cleaner air," Portland Commissioner Nick Fish said. “That’s a good way to begin Earth Day celebrations.”

Watch the aerial view of Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant below:

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