Bad data: Industrial Methane 100x higher than reported

Discussion in 'Environmental Discussion' started by Leadfoot J. McCoalroller, Jun 7, 2019.

  1. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Report from Cornell University

    I take my car in for direct testing annually, and they get to self-report a guess. Time to even this up.
     
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  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    that's why the faa doesn't allow manufacturers to do their own safety testing. oh, wait...
     
  3. Robert Holt

    Robert Holt Senior Member

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    That data concerning methane emissions at ammonia fertilizer plants is REALLY bad news. However, effective mitigation can concentrate on the relatively small number of such plants in the US, although that will not happen with this EPA, methinks. As methane is a much more effective greenhouse gas, this evidence might help explain some of the rapidity of the warming trends over the last few decades, which data has certainly surprised me.
     
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  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    what does this say about increasing ng use to produce electricity?
     
  5. Robert Holt

    Robert Holt Senior Member

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    To the best of my knowledge, if we thoroughly burn the methane in the generation process and don’t have leaks in the methane supply chain, the electricity generated has a much lower carbon footprint than coal-fired plants. But leaks could change the equation as methane is a far more effective greenhouse gas—the only good news is that I believe that methane is not as chemically inert as CO2 and cycles out of the atmosphere more quickly.
     
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  6. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    Ironically looks like a Iowa fertilizer plant making ammonia (for corn ethanol).
    I don't know if the whole ammonia industry is bad or just smaller players. They only looked at 6 plants.
    In general, Congress tries to slam big deep pocket companies with tougher regs, and smaller players get more lax regs.
    If you say we need really strict regs, that implies only the big companies can afford it, and actually quite opposite, generally Congress's whole mission in life is to encourage smaller businesses.
     
  7. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    30 years with under 50 employees, i never felt that way :rolleyes:
     
  8. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    what business? You can see for example small refineries get the ethanol waivers things like that.
    Let's see who owns the 6 plants they picked for methane emissions testing, if smaller or larger firms.
     
  9. tochatihu

    tochatihu Senior Member

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    They only looked at 6 [email protected] Their Figure 1 has 21 pins in map, which might represent the entire industry. Or plants of a particular size. Attempted sampling at 9 plants of which 3 yielded no useful data*. So, 6 was indeed the final number.

    From list of city names, an enterprising person could probably come up with a list of plant owners.

    *With this sampling setup a change in wind direction would spoil things. They put a sonic anemometer on a stick.
    Sonic anem RM Young.gif
     
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  10. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    plumbing supply, i suppose fertilizer manufacturing isn't really small compared to a mom and pop pizza shop
     
  11. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    It might take up a lot of room and electricity, but it might still only be 25 people.
     
  12. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    no idea(n) you have to look at the total corporation
     
  13. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    I am not aware of any methane emission regs except possibly oil and gas extraction, so its not clear these fertilizer plants were required to do anything about the issue, to date.. I actually favor reducing methane, and other possible bad global actors such as particulates etc. The good news is industrial methane emissions can be located/fixed. Then we have animals, coal mine leaks, natural methane, other sources. I am not clear on relative source amounts of methane.

    I believe a number of major companies are promising to reduce methane (because methane is about 25% of CO2 in terms of greenhouse gas global warming impact). I assume it is fairly easy for a company to calculate how low methane leakage vs. CO2 emissions has to be to not exceed the 25% factor. So for example, ammonia production I presume it is easy to calculate CO2 made, and so then you can calculate how low methane leakage has to be relative to CO2.
     
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