CINCINNATI, Ohio, United States — Methane comes from various sources, like landfills, bacterial processes in water, cattle and fracking. In testing methane sources at three national sites, University of Cincinnati geologists found no evidence fracking affected methane concentrations in groundwater in Ohio. At sites in Colorado and Texas, methane sources were found to be mixed, divided between fracking, cattle and/or landfills […]
On April 22nd (Earth Day), world leaders from 175 countries signed the historic Paris climate accord, drawing attention to some of the world’s most pressing environmental issues – including methane.
The issue of food waste received a lot of attention during the month. According to Reuters, between 30 and 40 percent of food produced around the world is never eaten, because it spoils after harvest and during transportation or is thrown away by shops or consumers. Reuters’ report focused on a new study that concluded up to 14 percent of emissions from agriculture in 2050 could be avoided by managing food use and distribution better. The Washington Post also described different countries’ efforts to target this problem, from a bill in the UK that proposes targets for manufacturers and distributors to reduce certain food waste to an effort in California to change the wording on the expiration dates on packaged food to prevent consumers from throwing away products that are still safe to eat. Meanwhile, two articles detail anaerobic digestion projects in Colorado, USA and northwestern England that capture methane emissions from food waste.
Another big story was the upward revision of methane emissions from the oil & gas sector in the United States, surpassing ruminant livestock as the largest source of methane emissions. As the Aliso Canyon methane leak demonstrated, one of the greatest hurdles to reducing methane emissions is plugging leaks in the storage tanks, pipes, and other equipment that drillers use to extract and transport oil and gas. A Washington Post story delves in depth on whether the rise of U.S. methane emissions can be attributed to the oil & gas sector, featuring the Climate and Clean Air Coalition’s Drew Shindell. In northern Texas, so-called ‘methane sleuths’ have taken the initiative to monitor emissions from oil and gas drilling in the area.
April Methane News Round-Up
- ‘Any spark could set it off’: An in-depth look at the dangers of coal mining (Global News Canada)
- Experts dig for alternate solutions for solid waste management in Mumbai (The Indian Express)
- How Colorado Is Turning Food Waste Into Electricity (NPR News)
- Lake District power plant will generate energy from cheese (ArsTechnica UK)
- Methane Sleuths Monitor Seeping Gases From Oil and Gas Drilling (Dallas Observer)
- MPs Call For Farmers To Tackle Belching Cows To Cut Emissions (Huffington Post)
- New tool calculates economic costs of methane leak detection (Phys.org)
- Southern California braces for summer blackouts due to Porter Ranch gas leak (LA Times)
- The enormous carbon footprint of food that we never even eat (Washington Post)
- The Invisible Catastrophe (New York Times)
- The most important mystery about U.S. climate change policy (Washington Post)
- The U.S. has been emitting a lot more methane than we thought, says EPA (Washington Post)
- This Could Be One of the Greatest Hurdles for Cutting Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the US (Vice)
- To help curb climate change, stop wasting food: scientists (Reuters)
- Using Methane Rather Than Flaring It (R&D Mag)
Tom Vessels has been working in the natural gas and coal mining industries for more than 40 years. He is currently the president of Vessels Coal Gas, Inc. (Vessels) and manager of North Fork Energy, LLC, both of Denver, Colorado, USA. Mr. Vessels’ presentation will cover the stages of coal mine methane (CMM) project development, including conception, initial discussions, and initial design. He will also cover project operations and technical issues to resolve in local environments, as well as discuss policy and political hurdles one might encounter when developing a CMM project.
Vessels has been working on qualifying energy from waste mine methane for the high value carbon and energy markets since 2007. The company has developed and is expanding projects for capturing CMM in three states. The company’s largest CMM collection project is in Colorado, while its longest-running project is in Pennsylvania. Vessels has won awards for environmental excellence in both states.
Vessels currently operates a CMM recovery facility on the abandoned Bethlehem Energy Mine 33, initially registered with the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS). The pipeline injection of mine gas project came online in May 2008 and electrical generation began in December 2010. As of January 1, 2013 the plant had sold over 407 billion cubic feet of natural gas into the Peoples Natural Gas local distribution company pipeline. The plant has produced over 152,910 Verified Carbon Units using the VCS methodology, and generated 8,291,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity and 8,291 Renewable Energy Credits.
Under the Climate Action Reserve, the company is currently destroying approximately 2,700,000 standard cubic feet per day of vented mine methane.