June News Round-Up

June was a somewhat quiet month in methane-related news, so let’s start with some shameless promotion of friends:

First, Scientific American profiled how a Chinese company, TOVEN, creatively turned the city of Xiangyang’s sewage sludge problem into an opportunity. (See our re-blog and trip dispatch too).

Second, our friend, and a supporter of the Global Methane Forum in March, GHGSat, launched its satellite technology designed to measure the carbon dioxide and methane emissions leaking from Alberta’s sprawling tar sands operations, and eventually fossil fuel operations anywhere. We look forward to following GHGSat’s results!

Perhaps the biggest news of the month came from our friends Canada and Mexico which held the ‘Three Amigos’ summit along with the United States in Ottawa, Canada. These three GMI Partner Countries committed to an ambitious goal of North America generating at least 50 percent of its energy from “clean” sources by 2025. As part of the new partnership, Mexico also will agree to join Canada and the United States in decreasing methane emissions.

In other news, researchers from Oxford University pointed out the flaws of measuring the effects of methane in terms of carbon dioxide equivalent, and suggested a new way to measure methane that highlights the considerable differences in how each gas contributes to warming.

Finally, a new study names several American oil & gas companies as the largest methane emissions culprits, citing their aggregate emissions to be the equivalent of running seven coal-fired power plants for a year. Relatedly, NASA released images taken from space of the massive Aliso Canyon methane leak.

See you at the end of July!

 

June Methane News Round-Up

 

GMI Steering Committee Announces Canada as New Co-Chair

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Mike Beale, speaking at the Global Methane Forum in March 2016.

As part of GMI’s charter extension announced at the Global Methane Forum, the Steering Committee will transition to a Co-Chair model. The Steering Committee governs the overall framework, policies and procedures of GMI and provides guidance to the Administrative Support Group (ASG) and subcommittees. We are pleased to officially announce Canada as the newest Co-Chair for the next two years. The ASG wishes to thank Canada for stepping forward and welcomes its willingness to take on this new leadership role.

Mike Beale, Assistant Deputy Minister of the Environmental Stewardship Branch at Environment and Climate Change Canada, will take the reins on Canada’s behalf. Mr. Beale is excited to take on the Co-Chair role at this important juncture as we all work to implement the Paris Agreement. He believes methane mitigation is critical in support of this effort, and as a short-lived climate pollutant, in support of our goal of limiting global warming to less than 2°C and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. You may remember Mr. Beale’s presentation during the Policy Roundtable of the Global Methane Forum. His bio:

Mike Beale is currently the Assistant Deputy Minister of the Environmental Stewardship Branch at Environment and Climate Change Canada. His responsibilities include greenhouse gas and air pollution regulations, management of chemicals, implementation of the Species at Risk Act, Migratory Birds Convention Act, and the Pollution Prevention provisions of the Fisheries Act, as well as providing advice on environmental assessment.

Mr. Beale is an economist by training. Prior to joining Environment Canada in 1989, he spent 8 years working in energy policy at what was then Energy, Mines and Resources Canada.

The United States will continue to serve as Co-Chair until another volunteer is confirmed. We are looking forward to Canada’s leadership over the next two years!

GHGSat to Launch Today!

The Canadian-based GHGSat, a longtime GMI Project Network member, as well as a supporter of the Global Methane Forum in March 2016, is ready to launch CLAIRE, its innovative methane detection satellite.

The launch, from India’s Satish Dhawan Space Centre, will occur tonight at 11:56 pm (Washington, D.C., USA time)! You can check out the live webcast of the launch on Indian media.

For more information about the satellite’s capabilities, Inside Climate News just published a fantastic article all about the launch. Or head over to GHGSat’s website for the latest news and watch the countdown tick down.

T-MINUS NINE HOURS…

GMI to Attend to UK AD & Biogas 2016

show2016exhibitor728x90_animThe Global Methane Initiative will be exhibiting at the United Kingdom’s Anaerobic Digestion & Biogas 2016 (UK AD & Biogas 2016, or ADBA)  on 6 and 7 July in Birmingham, UK.

This event will bring together the world’s leading international technology and product suppliers under one roof, along with some of the most engaging and knowledgeable minds in the industry. For more information, visit their website or check out this great video about the conference:

The event will be an exciting time for everyone involved in our industry. In addition to the Trade Show, there is a 2-day conference and seminar program, with speakers from across the globe discussing broad topics as well as practical ‘how-to’ sessions that will help everyone run their businesses more effectively.

We’ll be posting more information about the agenda and speakers in the coming weeks until the conference. In the meantime, registration is still open, and the conference is free to attend. If you can make it, don’t forget to visit GMI’s booth: stand C604!

 

GMI Visits Biogas Facilities in China

Earlier this week we shared a post by a blogger in China about a sludge-to-energy project that GMI supports. As it turns out, GMI Municipal Solid Waste Subcommittee Chair Tom Frankiewicz – among other staff – was recently in China, working on a host of biogas projects (including that one). Check out below some photos from sites on his itinerary!

Liumingying Biogas Supply Plant

china1-3Started in 1991, the Liumingying Biogas Supply Plant uses chicken manure in anaerobic digesters to create biogas that is supplied to seven nearby villages for cooking gas. The villages maintain the biogas plant operations, and each household receives a cooktop for using the biogas to prepare meals.

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Tom and Dr. Heinz-Peter Mang, biogas technical expert, inspect tanks used to store biogas for distribution to the villages (above). The biogas plant also uses digestate to produce compost that is used in agriculture (below).

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Beijing Century Green Environmental Engineering & Technology Ltd. (CGEET)

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Tour of the GCEET sludge treatment and utilization plant. Treated sludge is turned into compost that is used in urban landscaping.

 

CANFIT Resource Recovery

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Tom and delegates from Senegal observe a model of the CANFIT Resource Recovery facility located in Beijing. Mr. J.C. Yu, President of CANFIT, explains how waste products like sludge and discarded organic waste are turned into beneficial products (i.e., compost, biogas, biochar, biodiesel and biomethane) for sale to customers. The facility serves over 4 million inhabitants and plans are underway for expansion of the facility to accept more discarded waste for use in beneficial products.

May News Round-Up

A mish-mash of methane news this May!

First, a little self-promotion: our own Felicia Ruiz and Raymond C. Pilcher (Raven Ridge) penned a piece on coal bed methane and coal mine methane development in Mongolia for World Coal. Check it out!

There was a lot of attention on cows this month – specifically on their belches, flatulence, and manure that are key sources of methane emissions. We here at GMI advocate capturing the methane from cow manure through anaerobic digestion to use as biogas, but an entrepreneurial Italian took our advice a step further – to use the remaining de-methanated concoction as a raw material to make plaster, bricks and other objects known as merdacotta, or literally, ‘baked poop.’. Meanwhile, scientists in other parts of the world are attempting to tackle methane emissions that result from enteric fermentation, from feeding the cows hops or a compound called 3-nitrooxypropanol to reduce methane emissions from digestion. Indians are taking a different approach by studying miniature Vechur cows for their dairy production needs that release only 10% the level of methane emissions of a normal-sized cow.

The United States made a big announcement: new regulations that will target emissions from new or modified oil and gas wells. The New Republic and Washington Post followed up with analytical think pieces on the importance of methane mitigation and why the impact of methane emissions can be confusing. Vox published an explainer that describes the new U.S. regulations within the larger context of U.S. climate pledges.

Finally, two methane mentions this month outside our usual spectrum: 1) Swedish researchers are developing clothes that would be able to absorb methane from the ambient atmosphere, and 2) Rwanda inaugurated a power plant that uses a natural methane emissions source found in its Lake Kivu.

…Until June!

P.S. If you didn’t see it, the Climate Lab Book created a compellingspiral2016-2 infographic that shows global temperature change since 1850. Worth keeping!

 

May Methane News Round-Up

GMF Presentation Highlights – CSIRO CMM Case Study

In recent weeks, Methane International has continued to feature presentations from the 2016 Global Methane Forum (GMF). Previously, we covered the GMF’s plenary session on China’s Food Waste and Sludge Management Practices, Challenges, and Lessons Learned and a series of new innovative projects piloting Technologies to Quantify Methane Emissions.

Underground CMM Capture and Emission Reduction
Output from CSIRO’s three-dimensional COSFLOW model used to characterize the mine’s structure and hydrology.

This week, we’re highlighting Dr. Hua Guo’s case study on Underground Coal Mine Methane (CMM) Capture and Emission Reduction. Dr. Guo, Coal Mining Research Director for Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), collaborated with staff from Glencore International’s (formerly Xstrata) Bulga Underground Coal Operation outside of Sydney. Studying the Blakefield South Mine, the project team worked to develop a holistic and optimal approach of planning, design and operational control of CMM drainage and ventilation systems to maximize methane capture and minimize fugitive emissions in gassy and multiple seam conditions.

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Two-dimensional characterization of the Blakefield Mine site.

After extensively characterizing the mine complex’ hydrogeology and monitoring emissions, the project team used CSIRO’s COSFLOW model, combined with calibrated field studies, to develop a three-dimensional analysis of the mine strata, hydrology and gas to assess key parameters for the site’s gas drainage, and design an optimal gas drainage plan for the site.

The project team implemented a trial demonstration in a longwall mine including a goaf gas drainage system consisting of underground horizontal holes in the roof and floor seams. The trial resulted in improved gas capture performance, increased drainage efficiency, improved mine safety and coal productivity, and increased methane capture and emission reductions. To learn more about this innovative project, see the above presentation link.

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Methane captured from the floor lateral holes is used in a 9-megawatt power generation unit.