Fertilizer Industry Is Releasing 100 Times More Methane Than Previous Estimates, Study Suggests

Methane leaks from ammonia fertilizer plants are 100 times higher than self-reported industry estimates, alone exceeding Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates for total industrial processes every year, according to new research out of Cornell.

The production of fertilizer utilizes natural gas, which in recent years has been touted as a “bridge fuel” towards clean energy due to its potential to have lower greenhouse gas emissions when compared to traditional fossil fuels (ahem, “freedom gas”). But unintentional methane leakage can occur anywhere along the product line, from incomplete chemical reactions and fuel combustion to transportation pipeline leaks, resulting in emissions that may go unaccounted for.

“But natural gas is largely methane, which molecule-per-molecule has a stronger global warming potential than carbon dioxide,” said John Albertson in a statement. “The presence of substantial emissions or leaks anywhere along the supply chain could make natural gas a more significant contributor to climate change than previously thought.”

*****************************************************

Recommended For You

Zcode system - basketball predictions

Fully Automatic Sports Picks with 100% transparent performance since 2004

Local Lead Magic

So what is Local Lead Magic? Local Lead Magic is a combination of our Magic Page Premium Local Biz Themes and our Special Plugin that combined create amazing SEO perfect websites with geo targeted pages for every single area your business covers, all from

*****************************************************

To reconfigure such miscalculations, researchers outfitted a Google Street View (GSV) car with a methane sensor and assessed a variety of sources over the course of a three-day campaign in June 2015 and 16 days in September 2016. The team drove around on public roads to extraction areas, power plants, and municipal pipelines until their sensors caught a whiff of a downwind methane plume, at which point they would circle the facility several times.

A Google Earth representation of ammonia fertilizer plants in the US that were operating in 2015-2016. Elemental

In total, their measurements calculated that 0.34 percent of the gas used in plants analyzed is emitted into the atmosphere. When scaled to industry standards, that number reaches 28 gigagrams, or 100 times higher than the self-reported estimate of 0.2 gigagrams by fertilizer plants annually.

“Even though a small percentage is being leaked, the fact that methane is such a powerful greenhouse gas makes the small leaks very important,” said co-author Joseph Rudek. “In a 20-year timeframe, methane’s global warming potential is 84 times that of carbon dioxide.”

Writing in the journal Elementa, the authors are quick to note a handful of limitations in their work. First of all, it is a relatively small sample size; just six plants were monitored over the course of a short chunk of time, constraining how variable losses might be. Accessibility also played a major role as some facilities were located nearby better maintained public roads. Regardless, the study “fills an important knowledge gap in quantifying methane emissions.”

“We took one small industry that most people have never heard of and found that its methane emissions were three times higher than the EPA assumed was emitted by all industrial production in the United States,” said Albertson. “It shows us that there’s a huge gap between a priori estimates and real-world measurements.”

A Google Earth representation of an example of methane mixing ratios (red bars) measured by the GSV car along its pass around the ammonia fertilizer plant located in Fort Dodge, IA. Small methane spikes, which may be caused by pipeline leaks and not related to emissions from the fertilizer plant, are identified as local emissions. Elemental

 

 

Original Article : HERE ; This post was curated & posted using : RealSpecific

*****************************************************

Recommended For You

Video Builder

The Ultimate 'All-in-One' Video Creation App That Will Change The Way You Make Videos Forever!

Ali Inspector Version 2 - Commercial and Outsource License - 5 Day FLASH SALE

The new powerful 6-in-1 AliExpress product research software that generates niche keywords, analyzes bestsellers, and uncovers top performing dropship products for your eCommerce store in minutes!

Zcode system - football prediction software

Professional Tools to help you win - Line Reversals, Total predictors, Oscillators Everything you need to win is at your fingertips!

*****************************************************

This post was curated & Posted using : RealSpecific

Thank you for taking the time to read our article.

If you enjoyed our content, we'd really appreciate some "love" with a share or two.

And ... Don't forget to have fun!

Recommended

ContentLAB

ContentLAB makes it easy to find, customize and publish relevant, high-impact content to multiple blogs, websites, and social media simultaneously… without the typical hassles of writing content from scratch or paying a writer to do it.

Automated Ebook Builder Software

100% fully automated ebook maker?

NinjaShoppe Premium Membership

The MOST POWERFUL App on Planet That Builds a Fully Functional Affiliate Shoppe in 60 Seconds Flat That Gets You Products from Top E-com Giants, Unique Content, Video Reviews, TRAFFIC and COMMISSIONS, All Hands FREE…

Leave a Reply