The Environmental Protection Agency has issued a final rule for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. It has qualified additional fuel pathways as they meet the lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction requirements for cellulosic biofuel under the program. This final rule also provides guidance regarding the feedstocks that EPA considers to be crop residues.
The new cellulosic and advanced biofuels pathways approved under the RFS are: CNG and LNG produced from biogas from landfills, municipal wastewater treatment facility digesters, agricultural digesters, and separated MSW digesters; as well as electricity used to power electric vehicles also produced from those sources.
These pathways have the potential to provide notable volumes of cellulosic biofuel for use in complying with the RFS program, since significant volumes of advanced biofuels are already being generated for fuel made from biogas, and in many cases this same fuel will qualify for cellulosic renewable identification numbers (RINs) when this rule becomes effective.
The RFS program was launched under the Energy Policy Act (EPAct) of 2005, and established the first renewable fuel volume mandate in the United States. In 2007, the program was expanded to achieve significant reductions of greenhouse gas emissions from the use of renewable fuels, to reduce imported petroleum, and encourage the development and expansion of the country’s biofuels sector.