EPA Proposes to Cut Methane Emissions from New and Existing Landfills

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas with a global warming potential more than 25 times that of carbon dioxide. Climate change threatens the health and welfare of current and future generations. Children, older adults, people with heart or lung disease and people living in poverty may be most at risk from the health impacts of climate change. In addition to methane, landfills also emit other pollutants, including the air toxics benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and vinyl chloride.

Image Source:  http://www.environmentalleader.com/

Sourced through Scoop.it from: yosemite.epa.gov

>”Release Date: 08/14/2015
Contact Information: Enesta Jones jones.enesta@epa.gov 202-564-7873 202-564-4355

WASHINGTON – As part of the President’s Climate Action Plan – Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued two proposals to further reduce emissions of methane-rich gas from municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills. Under today’s proposals, new, modified and existing landfills would begin collecting and controlling landfill gas at emission levels nearly a third lower than current requirements.  […]

Municipal solid waste landfills receive non-hazardous wastes from homes, businesses and institutions. As landfill waste decomposes, it produces a number of air toxics, carbon dioxide, and methane. MSW landfills are the third-largest source of human-related methane emissions in the U.S., accounting for 18 percent of methane emissions in 2013 – the equivalent of approximately 100 million metric tons of carbon dioxide pollution.

Combined, the proposed rules are expected to reduce methane emissions by an estimated 487,000 tons a year beginning in 2025 – equivalent to reducing 12.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, or the carbon pollution emissions from more than 1.1 million homes. EPA estimates the climate benefits of the combined proposals at nearly $750 million in 2025 or nearly $14 for every dollar spent to comply. Combined costs of the proposed rules are estimated at $55 million in 2025.

Today’s proposals would strengthen a previously proposed rule for new landfills that was issued in 2014, and would update the agency’s 1996 emission guidelines for existing landfills. The proposals are based on additional data and analysis, and public comments received on a proposal and Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking EPA issued in 2014.

EPA will take comment on the proposed rules for 60 days after they are published in the Federal Register. The agency will hold a public hearing if one is requested within five days of publication.  “<

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Development of small scale renewable landfill bio-gas electric generator in UK

ACP funds for development of small scale landfill gas engine in UK Energy Business Review ACP’s biogas partner AlphaGen Renewables, which oversee the installation and operation of a 50kW microgeneration landfill gas engine, will develop the project.

Source: biofuelsandbiomass.energy-business-review.com

>”The project is expected to generate power from the landfill gas resource at the site under a 20 year agreement with Norfolk County Council.

AlphaGen Renewables chairman Richard Tipping said: “We are delighted to be partnering with ACP on this project, which is set to deliver strong returns. Renewables such as biogas are playing a growing role in the UK’s energy production.”

Albion Ventures Renewables head David Gudgin said: “Biogas is an increasingly popular area of renewable energy and we are looking forward to working with AlphaGen both on this project and others in the future.”<

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Fortum inaugurates new waste-to-energy CHP plant in Sweden

See on Scoop.itGreen Energy Technologies & Development

The new power plant unit, Brista 2, produces district heat for local residents and electricity for the Nordic power market from sorted municipal and industrial waste.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>”Brista 2 is already the fourth CHP plant we have commissioned this year in the Nordic and Baltic countries. Combined heat and power production is at the core of our strategy, and whenever possible we utilise renewable and local fuels,” says Per Langer, Executive Vice President of Fortum’s Heat Division.

Production capacity of the new Brista plant unit is 60 megawatts (MW) heat and 20 MW electricity. The annual heat production, about 500 gigawatt-hours (GWh), corresponds to the annual heating needs of about 50,000 mid-sized homes. The estimated annual electricity production of Brista 2 is 140 GWh. Fortum co-owns the plant (85%) together with the municipal energy company Sollentuna Energi (15%). <

See on online.wsj.com

“Personal Wipes” create toxic waste in Canadian sewers

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They’re billed as a fresh, clean alternative to toilet paper – but waste-water utilities across Canada say personal wipes are creating putrid sewage clogs that are costing Canadian ratepayers at least $250 million a year.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>MESUG members have set up traps across Ontario municipalities, Orr said, and they’re catching hundreds of flushable wipes. The situation is the same across the country, with officials in Penticton, B.C., recently complaining publicly about the wipes.

Canadian utilities aren’t alone in their battle against personal wipes.

In the U.S. capital region, the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission has spent more than $1 million installing powerful grinders to shred wipes before they reach pumps on their way to treatment plants.

The utility has also devoted hundreds of man-hours to unclog pipes and repair broken sewer lines. It blames wipes for blockages that have caused sewage to overflow into streams or back up into residential basements.<

See on globalnews.ca

UK Proposed ban on Food Waste Landfill Disposal & Re-Purpose to Green Energy Feedstock

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Government, council and retailer-backed report says ban on landfill could save UK £17bn and heat 600,000 homes

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>The ambition is to save the UK economy over £17bn a year through the reduction of food wasted by households, businesses and the public sector, preventing 27m tonnes of greenhouse gases a year from entering into the atmosphere.

The new study, Vision 2020: UK Roadmap to Zero Food Waste to Landfill is the culmination of more than two years’ work and has the backing and input of local authority and industry experts. It sets the framework for a food waste-free UK by 2020.

Last week official figures revealed the average UK family was wasting nearly £60 a month by throwing away almost an entire meal a day. A report from the government’s waste advisory group Wrap showed Britons were chucking out the equivalent of 24 meals a month, adding up to 4.2m tonnes of food and drink every year that could have been consumed. Almost half of this is going straight from fridges or cupboards into the bin, Wrap found. One-fifth of what households buy ends up as waste, and around 60% of that could have been eaten.

At the same time the UK’s largest retailer, Tesco, recently agreed to reduce its multi-buy items and other promotions after revealing that 35% of its bagged salad was being thrown out. It also found that 40% of apples were wasted, and just under half of bakery items.<

See on www.theguardian.com

U.S. Nuclear Power waning: A history of Failures

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By J. Matthew RoneyNuclear power generation in the United States is falling. After increasing rapidly since the 1970s, electricity generation at U.S. nuclear plants began to grow more slowly in the…

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>Of the 253 reactors that were ordered by 1978, 121 were canceled either before or during construction, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists’ David Lochbaum. Nearly half of these were dropped by 1978. The reactors that were completed—the last of which came online in 1996—were over budget three-fold on average.

By the late 1990s, 28 reactors had permanently closed before their 40-year operating licenses expired. […]

In 2012, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) approved four new reactors for construction, two each at the Vogtle plant in Georgia and the Summer plant in South Carolina. These reactors are all of the same commercially untested design, purportedly quicker to build than previous plants. Both projects benefit from fairly new state laws that shift the economic risk to ratepayers. These “advanced cost recovery” laws, also passed in Florida and North Carolina, allow utilities to raise their customers’ rates to pay for new nuclear plants during and even before construction—regardless of whether the reactors are ever finished.

Construction at both sites began in March 2013. Even as the first concrete was poured at the $14-billion Vogtle project, it was reportedly 19 months behind schedule and more than $1 billion over budget. The Summer project, a $10 billion endeavor, also quickly ran into problems. […] With these delays, the earliest projected completion date for any of these reactors is some time in late 2017. […]

This year has also already witnessed the permanent shutdown of four reactors totaling 3.6 gigawatts of capacity. The first to fall was Duke’s Crystal River reactor in Florida. Although the plant was licensed to run until 2016, Duke decided to close it rather than pay for needed repairs. Then Dominion Energy’s 39-year-old Kewaunee reactor in Wisconsin closed, citing competition from low gas prices. It had recently been approved to operate through 2033. And in June, Southern California Edison shuttered its two San Onofre reactors after 18 months of being offline due to a leak in a brand new steam generator. These retirements leave the United States with 100 reactors, averaging 32 years in operation. (France is second, with 58 reactors.)

More closures will soon follow, particularly among the roughly half of U.S. reactors in so-called merchant areas […]

Dealing with nuclear waste is another expensive proposition. Over the past 30 years, the U.S. government has spent some $15 billion trying to approve a central repository for nuclear waste, and for most of that time the only site under consideration has been Nevada’s Yucca Mountain. Amid concerns about the site’s safety and its extreme unpopularity in Nevada, the Obama administration has moved to abandon the project entirely and explore other options.

A federal appeals court ruled in August 2013 that the NRC must resume reviewing the site’s suitability. In the meantime, the waste keeps accumulating. The 75,000 tons of waste now stored at 80 temporary sites in 35 states is projected to double by 2055. […]

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Biofuel Production from Palm oil plantation waste

See on Scoop.itGreen Building Design – Architecture & Engineering

NextFuels to produce biofuels from palm plantation residue – Renewable Energy Magazine, at the heart of clean energy journalism

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>Edible palm oil has surpassed soybean to become the largest source of cooking oil in the world, accounting for over 50 million tons of oil annually.

While plantation owners have managed to increase the productivity of their land by 15X since the late 80s, the growth of the industry has created a corresponding residue problem. Approximately 4.4 to 6 metric tons of agricultural waste is generated for each metric ton of oil. There are over 1,000 crude palm oil (CPO) mills in Southeast Asia and a single (60 tons per hour) mill can generate 135,000 tons of agricultural residue a year.

NextFuels uses a system called bio-liquefaction that efficiently transforms agricultural biomass to green energy. Biomass is placed into the plant mixed with water. The mixture is then heated to 330-degree Celsius while pressure is increased to 220 bar. Increasing the pressure keeps the water from coming to a boil, which conserves energy.

When cooled, the hydrocarbons form a putty-like substance called GreenCrude. Roughly 25 percent of the GreenCrude can be burned as a solid fuel in industrial boilers. The remaining 75 percent can be converted into a liquid-fuel equivalent to petroleum that is compatible with existing pipelines and vehicles.

The equipment required to convert GreenCrude into liquid fuels, in a process called hydrodeoxygenation, is already installed at most refineries and can… <

See on www.renewableenergymagazine.com

Waste to Energy – Incinerator Operations threaten Community recycling programs

See on Scoop.itGreen Building Design – Architecture & Engineering

Rise in number of plants burning waste may be disincentive to greener methods of disposal

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>Experts said the use of incinerators had consequences for recycling as local authorities were forced to divert waste to feed the plants. “The choice to invest in thermal treatment can hold back recycling efforts,” Adam Baddeley, principal consultant at Eunomia, said. “At one level, the money invested in such plant simply isn’t available to put into building recycling plants or collection infrastructure. And once you’ve built an incinerator or gasifier, there’s a strong incentive to keep it fed with waste, even if that means keeping on collecting as ‘black bag’ rubbish, material that would be economically practicable to collect separately for recycling.”

Charmian Larke, technical adviser for Cornwall Waste Forum, which unsuccessfully opposed a large incinerator in the south-west, questioned the planning process that resulted in incinerators being approved. “Some of them [planning officers] have spent their entire careers trying to get this incinerator so they are wedded to the idea,” Larke said. “But if the council members understood how bad these contracts were, the officers would lose their jobs.”

Larke claimed that many of the incinerators were built in poorer areas. “There’s a feeling that people who are downtrodden have a harder time getting their act together to object, and hence it’s easier to place nasty things next to them.”<

See on www.theguardian.com

Jobs for the Future: Energy Efficiency creates Employment — ECEEE

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Energy efficiency initiatives create jobs, and normally very good jobs.  Recent analysis shows that between 17 and 19 net jobs can be created for every million euros spent.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>Jobs to improve energy efficiency in all end-use sectors are of high value.  Many require technical qualifications, such as engineering or architectural degrees.  Many require re-training from existing jobs. There will be a demand for financial specialists, construction engineers, behaviour specialists, project managers, auditors, data base managers, policy analysts and the like.  And these jobs are available to all, regardless of age or gender.

The hard work of creating these jobs begins once the Directive is finally approved.  The long-term policy framework needs to be in place and the funding and implementation strategy need to be well developed. But in the longer term, opportunity is knocking at the door, and it deserves a welcome mat.<

See on www.eceee.org

London Sewers Fatberg’s used for Clean Energy

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Giant Fatberg Found Under London Has Surprising Use

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>”Clean” Energy?

Despite the disgust, as well as the inconvenience, there’s actually some good news about fatbergs. Made of dense fats and oils, the structures are highly caloric, which makes them helpful for producing energy.

Rob Smith, a man with the enviable title of London’s “chief flusher,” told us that simply removing the fat and burning it in a turbine can produce more than 130 gigawatts of power each year, or about enough to power 40,000 London homes. The city plans to put the 15-ton berg to the same use, creating some very real cracks in the term clean energy.<

See on news.nationalgeographic.com