Suburban Propane to convert cow manure into renewable natural gas

Written on: June 2, 2022 by ICM

(L-R) Michael Stivala, President & CEO of Suburban Propane with Adirondack Farms Partner Jon Rulfs

Whippany, NJ-based Suburban Propane Partners, L.P. has announced an agreement to construct, own and operate a new biodigester system with Adirondack Farms in Clinton County, NY, to produce renewable natural gas (RNG). This project expands the portfolio of clean energy investments under the company’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Suburban Renewable Energy, LLC, which was formed in January 2022 to support Suburban’s strategic goal of building a renewable energy platform.

RNG will be produced by taking the manure from dairy cows at Adirondack Farms and processing it through a digester. Through the process of anaerobic digestion, microorganisms inside the digester will break down the organic material, converting it into RNG and a nutrient-rich material, also known as digestate. RNG will then be delivered to the natural gas distribution system, and the nutrient-rich digestate material will be used by the farm. The digestate is separated further, providing Adirondack Farms with dry, soft materials that is used for cow bedding, and a natural fertilizer that is used in the fields to grow feed for the cows.

“Through our Suburban Renewables platform, we continue to grow our portfolio of renewable energy investments in support of an economy-wide transition to a sustainable energy future,” said Michael Stivala, President & CEO of Suburban Propane. “To effectively tackle environmental challenges, innovative new renewable energy sources are required to complement the clean air and climate benefits offered by traditional propane.

“Our investment in a digester system at Adirondack Farms is the latest endeavor in our ongoing commitment to bring renewable energy to local communities,” he continued. “Partnering with a family farm that has such a deep history and commitment to the people of upstate New York, such as Adirondack Farms, enables us to share our vision of providing safe and clean renewable energy from dairy manure.”

“Farmers are the original stewards of the land, and we are stepping up and doing our part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Adirondack Farms Partner Jon Rulfs. “At Adirondack Farms, we’re constantly evolving and innovating to ensure we remain viable in a competitive marketplace while keeping the preservation of our natural resources a top priority. Our new partnership with Suburban Propane provides us with the tools needed to take these recycling efforts to a new level, resulting in the production of renewable natural gas. We realize we’re only a small part of a larger effort to combat climate change, but we want to show how the dairy industry is a leader in the effort to reduce emissions for our communities.”

Suburban Propane remains committed to investing in advanced renewable energy technologies and innovative approaches to foster the transition to a sustainable energy future. The collaboration with Adirondack Farms will create a revenue opportunity for both Suburban Renewables and Adirondack Farms, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and enable the production of renewable natural gas.

This latest investment can also support the Partnership’s existing investments in Oberon Fuels, Inc., a producer of low-carbon, renewable dimethyl ether, and Independence Hydrogen Inc., a developer of a gaseous hydrogen ecosystem to deliver locally-sourced hydrogen to local markets. Visit