Biomethane, a startup founded by Western Washington University graduate Kathlyn Kinney and Vehicle Research Institute director Eric Leonhardt, works with farmers to create carbon-negative fuel from dairy waste in Lynden, WA.
Biodigesters have experienced limited payback thus far by selling electricity to the grid. Depending on local utility rates, biomethane sold at $3/gallon equivalent has a two-to-five times higher payback than biogas used for electricity generation.
The pilot station in Lynden is fed with biogas by a digester built in 2004, the longest running in the state. It was installed as part of an effort to support the family-owned and operated dairy.
Besides supplying raw biogas, which could be sold at over $150,000 per year, the digester provides dry bedding for the farm, a savings of $10,000 per month. “If dairy farming on the west coast is to survive, we need to move ahead with projects like this,” says Darryl Vander Haak, owner of Vander Haak Dairy.
The fueling station sells natural gas fuel to Bellair Airporter Shuttles. Once the station is completed, purified biomethane will power their route between Vancouver, BC, and Sea-Tac, WA.
Based upon a 1,200 cow farm, Biomethane estimates that it could earn over $2,000 a day by selling the energy as transportation fuel instead of electricity.
Read the original release here: Biomethane Release