Friday, February 22, 2019

Fugitive Emissions of Methane Biogas and Landfill Gas Explained

Fugitive Emissions of Methane

Fugitive Emissions of Methane (Biogas and Landfill Gas) Explained

It is well known that unintentional escapes of methane and landfill gas (fugitive emissions) occur when methane escapes from a myriad of tiny leaks from production facilities, wells, pipes, compressors and other equipment.

Methane continually escapes through tiny leaks from the equipment associated with coal mining or natural gas extraction, landfills, landfill gas utilization plants, and biogas plants.

It is obviously very important to reduce all these fugitive methane emissions to an absolute minimum.

Methane is more than 80 times more damaging to the atmosphere and more powerful than carbon dioxide over a 20-year time frame.

It's the second leading contributor to climate change, after carbon dioxide.

Methane accounts for approximately 25 % of the world’s climate warming.

Accidentally released methane emissions are the inevitable byproduct of the oil and gas industry and agriculture, and occur from all methane equipment.

But, not only from equipment it also gets released when cattle blow-off!

Vegans are right when they say reducing demand for dairy and meat will help the environment.

80 % of the Geenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions due to enteric fermentation (digestion in stomachs) are from the digestive systems of cattle.

But, that's enough about cattle emissions, what about biogas plants which imitate cattle to make methane.

Unintentional emissions will be occurring from all biogas plants.

Storage tanks inevitably leak a small amount, as do pipe joints, valves and other equipment.

Other fugitive emissions will occur when digesters are opened-up for maintenance, and during commissioning.

However, biogas plant and landfill gas utilization plants would be expected to be similar to those for the natural gas supply industry.

Fugitive emission research conducted within the natural gas industry estimates the US national methane fugitive emissions rate for natural gas at about 0.42%.

A not insignificant amount overall, and it needs to be reduced.

However, the amounts are tiny when compared with the fugitive emission of methane from cattle, and landfills.

Municipal solid waste landfills are the third-largest source of human-related methane emissions in the United States, accounting for approximately 15% of these emissions in 2016.

Similar figures apply to all developed nations.

But, as Vegans can point out.

This is well below the 26% emitted from cattle through enteric fermentaton.

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Sources of all quoted statistics are in our article here:

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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Dead Fish to Power Cruise Ships - Reducing Global Warming Using Biogas -...

Dead Fish to Power Cruise Ships

Waste fish parts will be used to power ships in a new initiative to use green energy for polluting cruise liners.

The leftovers of fish processed for food and mixed with other organic waste will be used to generate biogas, which will then be liquefied and used in place of fossil fuels by the expedition cruise line Hurtigruten.

Heavy fossil fuels used by ocean-going transport are an increasing problem as they are even more polluting than fuels for land-based vehicles, emitting sulphur and other contaminants.

The fuels contribute to air pollution as well as to climate change.

Converting vessels to use biogas will cut down on pollutants and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Hurtigruten operates  a fleet of 17 ships and by 2021 aims to have converted at least six of its vessels to use compressed biogas, which is a renewable form of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Biogas can be generated from most forms of organic waste by speeding up and harnessing the natural decomposition process to capture the methane produced.

Read the full article in the Guardian online.

Go to .

Shipping Industry in General Looks Set to Continue to Use Fossil (Bunker) Fuels

The shipping industry is being forced to convert to cleaner burning fuels, however, or install scrubbers.

The European Union and China already have regulations in place that place caps on sulphur emissions for ships making port calls in Europe and China.

And starting in 2020, the International Maritime (IMO) will require all vessels operating in international waters to meet new emissions caps, which will mean they will either need to switch to lower burning fuels, like methanol, LNG or diesel, or install scrubbers.

Many are opting to install scrubbers and continue using bunker fuels, simply because bunker fuel is widely available at ports around the world. Other fuel sources, like LNG, aren't.

Ulrich said the continued use of bunker fuel and scrubbers simply moves pollution from the air to the water. Open-loop saltwater scrubbers remove pollutants from smokestacks, but she said some ships have been found to be releasing the pollution sludge that is captured into the ocean. via

Passengers on Cruise Ships Could be Inhaling Harmful Concentrations of Funnel Air Pollutants

Passengers on a cruise ship could be inhaling "60 times higher concentrations of harmful air pollutants " than they would in natural air settings, Naturschutzbund Deutschland (NABU), a German environmental association, has warned.

Measurements were taken at various spots on the ship and for this particular sample, the sun deck and jogging lane on the top deck were found to be most affected by pollution. "But of course this can vary along with the wind and weather conditions. So potentially every part of the ship can be affected significantly,"  Mr Rieger said.

For this reason, the German Lung Association and the Pneumologists Association have warned passengers against staying on deck or inhaling ships' exhaust gases as this could cause acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) if you suffer from lung diseases, Mr Rieger said. via

Air Pollution from Nautical Behemoths

But while the 6,780 passengers and 2,100 crew on the largest cruise ship in the world wave goodbye to England, many people left behind in Southampton say they will be glad to see it go. They complain that air pollution from such nautical behemoths is getting worse every year as cruising becomes the fastest growing sector of the mass tourism industry and as ships get bigger and bigger. via

Image is the featured thumbnail for "Dead Fish to Power Cruise Ships.
When the gargantuan Harmony of the Seas slips out of Southampton docks commercial voyages, the 16-deck-high floating city will switch off its auxiliary engines, fire up its three giant diesels and head to the open sea.

"These ships burn as much fuel as whole towns," Bill Hemmings, the director of aviation and shipping at Transport & Environment, told the Guardian earlier this year. "They use a lot more power than container ships and even when they burn low sulphur fuel, it’s 100 times worse than road diesel." via


Cruise ships have been described as "floating cities" and like cities, they have a lot of pollution problems. Their per capita pollution is actually worse than a city of the same population, due to weak pollution control laws, lax enforcement, and the difficulty of detecting illegal discharges at sea. Cruise ships impact coastal waters in several US states, including Alaska, California, Florida, and Hawaii. via

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Biogas Power Means Green Electricity for Norfolk Military Base RAF Marha...

Biogas Power to Make Green Electricity for Norfolk Military Base

Biogas power will generate Green Electricity for a Norfolk Military Base, it has been announced.

An Anaerobic Digestion Plant RAF joint venture, will result in almost all of the Norfolk base's electricity requirement.

It will from now on be supplied from a new on-farm green renewable energy resource NOW operating.
The RAF Marham military base will be supplied from the Biogas Plant Shown here.

Minister for Defence People & Veterans Tobias Ellwood MP has described anaerobic digestion (AD) as “a truly green and sustainable solution” as he launched a new deal that will see a Norfolk military base receive almost all its power from a nearby AD plant.

Future Biogas’s Redstow Renewables AD plant, which converts locally harvested crops  such as maize, sugar beet, rye, and potatoes into renewable electricity (in the form of biogas made from the whole crop including the leaves and the stalks), and natural fertilizer. This will meet over 95% of the power needs of  the nearby RAF military base.

The base will be the first in the UK to run almost entirely on green electricity.

The AD plant will generate 4.5 megavolt amperes of electricity every day, enough to power 350,000 LED bulbs.
The deal will save the Ministry of Defence nearly £300,000 every year and reduce its carbon emissions by 14,000 tonnes of CO2 annually.

The waste residue from the AD process, will also be dried and used as fertilizer to help grow local crops.
RAF Marham is leading the way as Britain’s first green military airbase.

The biogas fuel is a truly green and sustainable solution, helping us tackle climate change, support the local economy and save taxpayer money.

"I hope that this plant can act as a model and we can see more sustainable energy schemes rolled out across other military bases."

Now we suggest that you watch the much more detailed Future Biogas video with more details at: 

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News of Biogas Power which is providing Green Electricity to a Norfolk Military Base, and high praise for the green credentials of biogas production. Why then is the same government ending the Feed-in-Tariff subsidy at the end of next month (March 2019)?

#anaerobicdigestion #renewableenergy #biogas

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Friday, February 01, 2019

A Role for Biogas in Limiting Climate Change - Progress Since the Paris Agreement - IPCC Report Autumn 2018

Progress Since the Paris Agreement of December 2015, and Biogas Production Toward Limiting Climate Change

The 197 signatories of the Paris Agreement committed to curb greenhouse gas emissions to prevent global temperature exceeding the pre-industrial average by more than 2°C.

Since the agreement was signed in December 2015, every signatory has ratified it into law and some 1,500 pieces of legislation have been enacted to drive compliance.

Three years ago, climate science indicated that beyond 2°C there was increasing risk of passing a "tipping point"', where feedback loops within the climate system will propel runaway change.

But in October 2018 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported its findings from a three-year study comparing the impacts of climate change if limited to 1.5°C, compared to 2°C. It drew on 6,000 scientific contributions and 42,000 expert and government opinions.

Halting global temperature rise at 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels would bring major benefits for the environment, society and economy, the report says.

It warns that the global impacts of climate change will be much more severe under a 2°C scenario than previously estimated.

The report highlights the need to adopt the 1.5°C threshold to prevent "dangerous climate change".

The IPCC emphasizes that the global temperature is already 1°C above the pre-industrial average.

That's the end of our progress update, since the Paris Agreement of December 2015.

So what can be done now, without waiting for new technologies, and also make a difference by helping all governments to comply?
The answer is to introduce ambitious targets to accelerate the installation of on-farm biogas plants.

That's because: Worldwide GHG emissions from livestock supply chains are estimated to produce 7.1 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide CO2 equivalent (CO2e) per annum. This represents 14.5% of all human-induced emissions.

Of the total, storage and handling of manure represents 10 per cent.

Featured Image Showing Limiting Climate Change - Progress Since the Paris Agreement of December 2015 and Biogas.
Therefore, On-farm anaerobic digestion (AD) of manures has significant potential to capture methane as a renewable energy source and, as a consequence, to reduce net global GHG emissions. 

UK biogas production in 2018 already created enough power to replace one major UK power station of which there are about 1 dozen in operation.

That's easily enough, to "make a difference"! So, we encourage you to promote anaerobic digestion and biogas to your politicians, and return here to comment, and tell us about the replies you get.

Sources: 1. New Civil Engineer, December 2018
and 2. the  IEA Bioenergy report, " Exploring the viability of small scale anaerobic digesters in livestock farming", by Clare Lukehurst and Angela Bywater (2015). Video by: .

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