Repurposing methane produced from landfills for a more sustainable refuse market

Cummins Renewable Natural Gas

It’s no secret that trucking markets around the world are calling for cleaner fuel alternatives. In 2018, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched the Clean Trucking Initiative to “ensure emissions reductions occur in the real world in all types of truck operation.”

With a specific reference to heavy-duty trucks and their impact on the environment, the refuse market has a unique opportunity to increase their use of renewable resources. How? By capturing and reusing landfill gases.

Landfills are an extreme threat to the ozone and are responsible for emitting raw methane gases. Raw methane gas is 40 times more potent than tail pipe exhaust and will remain trapped in the atmosphere for hundreds of years. But on the flip side, methane emissions from landfills also represent an undervalued opportunity to seize and repurpose a significant energy resource. 

Once methane is produced, it can go through three different levels of treatments in order to repurpose the gas in a productive manner. The primary and secondary treatments remove moisture and impurities, respectively. If these two steps are completed, the gas can be used to generate electricity in power generation plants. If the methane undergoes a third treatment to remove CO2, N2, O2, and VOCs (as needed), it can be reused for vehicle fuel as renewable natural gas (RNG). 

Renewable Natural Gas landfill process

This process creates the opportunity for a full life cycle of natural gas landfills. Waste companies, like Waste Management, are sending RNG-powered trucks to your neighborhood to collect waste and recycling. The material collected is then deposited into landfills and over time produces methane. That methane becomes a RNG through the cleansing process and then fuel to power the natural gas powered trucks that collect the waste. Cummins’ natural gas engine line already produces emissions 90% lower than EPA requirements; adding this fuel type further reduces Waste Management’s vehicles to net sub-zero emissions! 

On a larger scale, there are also opportunities for waste companies to funnel their RNG from landfills into the national natural gas pipeline network. The U.S. natural gas pipeline system totals over three million miles of pipeline across the country, providing natural gas to factories, hotels, city-owned facilities, convention sites, airports, commercial ship and motorized vehicle refueling sites, and finally into residential homes across the country. 

While both RNG and fossil natural gas share the same pipeline, the year-over-year expansion of injecting RNG into the pipeline will continue to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. To further encourage the growth and use of RNG in the United States, the EPA established the Renewable Identification Number program (or RIN). Fleets who contract the purchases and use RNG from authorized brokers receive full Greenhouse Gas reduction credits when pulling natural gas off the pipeline. 

It seems like a perfect solution. Is that because it is? Landfills, dairy farms, livestock farms and sewerage treatment plants all produce raw methane naturally. Capturing this abundant energy source and converting it to a very affordable energy source, then coupling it with Cummins’ renewable natural gas engine delivers net sub-zero emissions goods movement today. 

Next question, please. 

Learn more about Cummins natural gas solutions.  

Sources
Environmental Protection Agency: https://www.epa.gov/lmop/basic-information-about-landfill-gas 

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

How to reap the benefits of a lightweight engine

How to reap the benefits of a lightweight engine

Power-to-weight equals more than just productivity

Operating vocational trucks is all about getting the job done as reliably, quickly and productively as possible. Nailing the power-to-weight ratio on the sweet spot can have a major impact on not just your equipment’s productivity but its longevity and your bottom line as well. There are a number of factors that come into play when spec’ing a vocational vehicle that help ensure that performance capability matches the duty cycle and jobsite conditions. It starts with choosing an engine that has the ideal power-to-weight ratio and pairing it with the correct transmission and tires, based on the most demanding aspects of its operating usage. 

Weighing In 

Regardless of whether you are spec’ing a dump, refuse truck, mixer or bulk hauler, there are substantial advantages to using a lighter-weight engine – provided it has sufficient power. In applications which typically gross out, a lighter weight engine gives you the opportunity to carry more payload (equal to the weight savings). Less weight on the front axle also reduces stress and wear over time, reducing maintenance costs. The weight savings/increased payload can be as much as 630 lbs. per trip in a vehicle, when switching from a Cummins ISX12 to a 2021 X12™. 

Productivity Pays 

Having the right spec with a lighter engine pays big dividends, regardless of the business you are in or the type of vocational vehicles in your fleet. For instance: 

Refuse – A lighter engine with the proper spec can accelerate faster between stops and carry more waste, potentially resulting in greater coverage per vehicle on its daily routes. Depending on the size of the municipality being served, it could reduce both the number of vehicles and manpower needed for total coverage. It can also save money at landfills where there is a per-vehicle charge in addition to the cost of the waste being dumped. 

Mixers – The key is to spec the vehicle at maximum load, making sure that it adheres to local load limits for highways, bridges and roadways throughout the area. Some mixers have three drive axles, to help provide the traction needed to negotiate muddy, difficult worksites with steep inclines. 

Dump Trucks – Similar to mixers, construction dumps can have highly variable load weights and taxing work environments. For increased equipment longevity, operators should be trained in proper loading (between the axles with the initial loading, moving over the axles at the end). 

Bulk Haulers – Tractor trailers are a different configuration and have greater flexibility with regards to load distribution. The fifth wheel can be shifted forward to put more weight on the drive axle, or back to put greater load on the rear axles. When spec’ing the tractor, you can often choose a smaller displacement engine (such as a 12-liter rather than a 13-liter), which will allow for a shorter frame rail and wheelbase measured as BBC. The combined weight savings can be as much as 1,000 lbs. in the front end, and an equivalent increase in payload while staying under the 80,000-lb GVW limit. (The typical load pattern for a tractor trailer is 12K steer axle, 34K tandem axle and 34K trailer). 

Additional Considerations

When spec’ing a vocational vehicle, it is critical to take into consideration seasonal additions like a snowplow attachment, pumps, or any feature that requires an extended front bumper or puts extra weight on the drive axle. When spec’ing an engine for weight savings, it is critical to choose a horsepower/torque rating that meets the highest regular power demand in your duty cycle, and to pair it with an appropriate transmission, ensuring that you get the highest productivity, exceptional reliability and longevity plus driver-pleasing performance. All at a reduced powertrain weight. Cummins PowerSpec can guide you through the entire process

Hard Working Engines for The Hardest Working Trucks 

From landscaper’s dump trucks to bulk transport trailers, Cummins engines offer exceptional productivity and the highest power-to-weight ratios in the industry. All three of these engines are offered in natural gas-fueled versions as well as the industry-leading diesels that are listed below. For assistance choosing the right specification for your operation, contact your local dealer or visit our dealer locator page to find one

Cummins B6.7 (200-360 hp) – Covers more Class 6-7 truck power requirements than any other diesel on market. 

Cummins L9 (260-380 hp) – The highest power density in its class plus replaceable wet cylinder liners for ease of overhaul and extended lifespan. 

Cummins X12 (350-500 hp) – The highest power-to-weight ratio of any 10- to 16-liter diesel engine, period.

Leslie Nix

Leslie Nix is a Senior Communications Specialist for Cummins Inc. Leslie joined the Company in 2011 as a college hire after graduating with her Bachelors of Arts in Journalism from Indiana University.

China oil and gas team revered for reliable products and exceptional service

Daqing

Daqing Drilling Wellservice Engineering Company attends Cummins’ Oil and Gas end-of-year seminar to share their elation with their product and service experience

The oil and gas industry is known for its high expectations around uptime. The resource being harvested and the applications that are doing the work are too valuable to sit idle for extended periods of time. Cummins Oil and Gas team prides itself on being able to support this dire need for reliability, by delivering solutions and service that ensure customers can stay on schedule. 

At the yearly customer seminar, there was one corporation in particular that had many things to say about their satisfaction with the Cummins Oil and Gas team’s ability to keep their products up and running. Daqing Drilling Wellservice Engineering Company (Daqing) shared a proud voice about their Cummins experience thanks to a relationship that has been thriving since 2013.

Previously supported by an alternative engine manufacturer, Daqing is a subsidiary of the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), which is one of the largest energy groups in the world. When their communication began with Cummins Inc., it became clear this customer needed dependable products and service support resembling a partnership – not a transaction. The fulfillment of this need has led to a flourishing and forward-looking relationship for Daqing and Cummins.

Over the years, the Cummins Oil and Gas team has provided one QSX15, four QSNT units and 12 QSK60 and QSM11 engines. Exciting projects are expected to hit the field in 2021 as well. Primarily used for fracking trucks and blenders, Yongchang Qiu from Daqing had the following comments to share about their Cummins product experience:

As an end user representative, I am sincerely happy that the frac equipment of the OEMs has applied the latest advanced technology and equipment. Reliability and durability have been continuously strengthened, and the equipment can be used at ease, maintenance is worry-free, and service is attentive.

After several years of usage, the performance and reliability of Cummins engines have been widely recognized by our company. Compared with other engine brands, Cummins’ engine has low noise, stable operation, high reliability, compact structure and light weight advantages. It is very suitable for high-power engine-driven fracking trucks.

Cummins not only provides high quality products, but also attentive service. For oil and gas fields site fracking operation, it is very important to have timely follow-up for service and parts. In order to support us, Cummins assigned specialized on-site service personnel in all major oil and gas production areas in China, which truly provides 24/7 service for our projects.

Cummins is honored to support Daqing Drilling Wellservice Engineering Company and is passionate about continuing to find efficiencies to improve their solutions. One of the major efforts by Cummins to aid Daqing’s initiatives was to extend the oil change period to optimize time and resources. Upon receiving the request, Cummins Oil and Gas team’s application engineers and sales team completed testing, and took action to provide a mutually efficient solution.

At the end of the day, Cummins is here to help manage customer fleets and create the best business environment for customers. The China oil and gas team has seen great success with Daqing and is looking forward to continuing a valuable relationship in the future. A partnership that prioritizes reliability, service and efficiency will continue to be positioned for longevity and prosperity. 
 

Daqing Drilling Wellservice Engineering Company
Katie Yoder - Cummins Inc.

Katie Yoder

Katie Yoder is a Marketing Communications Specialist. She joined Cummins in 2018 as a member of the trade show operations team, but now supports the Marine and Oil & Gas segments’ marketing initiatives. As a University of Wisconsin alumna, Katie spends her free time watching Badger sports.

Machine of the Month: Cummins powers history-making natural gas application

 Agricultural equipment

Gomselmash, a Belarussian agricultural equipment manufacturer, has made industry history by developing the world’s first natural gas-powered combine harvester, the Palesse GS4118K. When they required a low-emission, sustainable power solution able to meet the needs of farmers operating in difficult conditions, Cummins was the obvious choice to power the harvester.

As a longstanding customer, Gomselmash uses Cummins’ QSG12 engines in its diesel-powered machines, but this was the first time either company had worked on a natural gas-powered combine harvester. 

Working together to ensure the machine would deliver on both performance and sustainability objectives, the 350hp X12N natural gas engine from Cummins was specified and integrated into the Palesse GS4118K. The engine delivers near diesel-like performance with low emissions and the potential to increase farm decarbonization.

Cummins’ X12N engine can run on compressed natural gas (CNG), liquified natural gas (LNG) or biomethane. Natural gas can be more than 60 percent cheaper than diesel. Beyond the fuel saving benefits, it can also offer a carbon dioxide emissions reduction of up to 15 percent compared to a diesel equivalent. 

Natural gas power also provides the opportunity to develop a circular economy - biogas from manure digesters contains over 50 percent methane and can be used to generate electricity as well as fuel natural gas-powered equipment. With often challenging infrastructure in the territories where Gomselmash frequently operates, it was important to find a power solution that could be refueled either with methane processed on the farm, or available from vendors locally.

Agriculture is a critical market and with the backing of an extensive global engineering, service and support network, Gomselmash can be confident in Cummins’ ability to supply natural gas products and customer support expertise worldwide. With a 100 year history as a market leader in the agricultural sector, this new off-highway initiative represents Cummins’ commitment to researching new power solutions to help farmers boost their crop yields.

Cummins has been dedicated to powering a world that is Always On for more than a century. For more information on Cummins’ footprint in the agriculture industry, visit our agriculture section, or contact your local Cummins dealer

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Emission regulations for diesel engines used in upstream oil and gas activities

Emission regulations for diesel engines used in upstream oil and gas activities

Rapid progression of emission regulations in recent years, combined with regulatory variations across geographies made it more challenging to understand how these evolving regulations apply to engines used in the oil and gas industry. 

This article outlines two key exhaust emission regulations focused on diesel engines often used in upstream oil and gas activities. These are the diesel engines often used in equipment such as cementers, blenders, mixers, mud pumps and frac rigs you would see in upstream oil and gas activities.

Environmental Protections Agency’s (EPA) Nonroad Exhaust Emission Standards

Most recently in the United States, the EPA’s Tier 4 emission regulations have replaced the previous Tier 4 transitional, Tier 3 and Tier 2 regulations depending upon the engine range. For many of the upstream oil and gas activities, diesel engines now need to comply with the limits outlined in the EPA Nonroad Compression Ignition Exhaust Emission Standards. 

The key focus of current Tier 4 emission standards, in comparison to Tier 3 and Tier 2, has been the reduction in nitrous oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM). 

For example: 

  • Diesel engines used in cementers, blenders, mixers and acidizing equipment often deliver 100 to 750 horsepower. These engines are required to comply with Tier 4 regulations since 2014 and 2015. These Tier 4 engines emit 90% less particulate matter than their Tier 3 versions. These engines also emit 85% less nitrous oxides compared to their Tier 3 versions.
  • Diesel engines used in frac rigs, electric power modules, mud pumps and some of the larger cementers and acidizing equipment often deliver over 750 horsepower. These engines were  required to comply with Tier 4 regulations since 2015 and emit 85% less particulate matter than their Tier 2 versions. They also emit 45% less nitrous oxides compared to their Tier 2 versions. 
Progression of EPA's Nonroad Exhaust Emission Standards over the last two decades
Progression of EPA's Nonroad Exhaust Emission Standards over the last two decades

With the most recent Tier 4 emission regulations, the U.S. EPA has also chosen to regulate the amount of sulfur within the diesel fuel used by these engines to 15 parts per million (ppm), a 97% decrease from the previous requirement of 500 ppm 

European Commission’s Non-road Mobile Machinery emission regulations

European Commission’s Non-road Mobile Machinery (NRMM) emissions regulate many of the diesel and natural gas engines used in various upstream oil and gas activities. The European Commission, like the EPA, chose to focus on reducing the emission of carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbons (HC), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and particulate matter with these regulations.

Stage V is the latest and the strictest tier of these regulations. Here are the key highlights of Stage V emissions with regards to upstream oil and gas applications:

European Commission's NRMM emission regulations drove dramatic decreases in the emission of harmful pollutants
European Commission's NRMM emission regulations drove dramatic decreases in the emission of harmful pollutants
  • Stage V diesel engines that produce a power output of 130 to 560 kW, often used within cementers, blenders and mixers, emit 40% less particulate matter in comparison to their Stage IV counterparts. They also emit over 90% less particulate matter and nitrous oxides in comparison to their Stage II counterparts.
  • Diesel engines that produce over 560 kW, often used in frac rigs, power modules, mud pumps and larger cementers, are also included in the scope of Stage V emissions. These engines’ emissions were previously not regulated by Stage IV or Stage III regulations. 
  • The other scope expansion introduced with Stage V is the inclusion of particle numbers for engines that produce 19 to 560 kW power. 

How are the EPA and European Commission’s engine emission regulations different?

The most recent emission regulations from the EPA and European Commission (EC) have many commonalities. They both focus on similar pollutants, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrous oxides and particulate matter. They also have very similar target emission levels: 3.5 g/kW-hr of CO and 0.4 g/kW-hr of NOx emissions for larger high horsepower engines. 

Comparison of emission requirements across selected exhaust emission regulations
Comparison of emission requirements across selected exhaust emission regulations

One key difference between the EPA and European Commission’s engine emission regulations is the particulate number introduced with Stage V by the European Commission; the EPA’s Tier 4 regulations don’t have the same criteria. 

There are several more regional and local emission regulations that could impact your oil and gas equipment. This article aimed to provide you the basics around the emission regulations; you can also reach out to your local Cummins partner to discuss emission topics specific to your location and application.

Sign up below to receive periodic insights, updates and news relevant to the oil and gas industry. To learn more about oil and gas power solutions Cummins offers, visit our webpage.

 

References: 

  1. Update of Engine Categories, Emission Rates and Speciation Profiles for Tier-4 Nonroad Compression Ignition Engines (December 2017). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency [PDF file]. Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/
  2. Non-Road mobile machinery emissions (September 2016). Regulation (EU) 2016/1628 of the European Parliament and of the Council [PDF file]. Retrieved from https://eur-lex.europa.eu/

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Aytek Yuksel - Cummins Inc

Aytek Yuksel

Aytek Yuksel is the Content Marketing Leader for Cummins Inc., with a focus on Power Systems markets. Aytek joined the Company in 2008. Since then, he has worked in several marketing roles and now brings you the learnings from our key markets ranging from industrial to residential markets. Aytek lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife and two kids.

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