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Global Warming

Warming of the climate system is unequivocal…Each of the last three decades has been successively warmer at the Earth’s surface than any preceding decade since 1850. In the Northern Hemisphere, 1983–2012 was likely the warmest 30-year period of the last 1400 years.”  (Intergovernmental Panel Climate Change.)

 

It matters not whether you believe global warming is part of a natural of a natural cycle or exacerbated by man-made activities.  Global warming is here and will continue for decades, if not millennia. 

 

Global warming also presents an economic opportunity.  An example is converting into revenue producing product natural gas that is currently being wasted through release or flaring.  Converting the natural gas to liquid reduces the impact on global warming and generates a positive ROI for the well operator.

Converting gases to liquid fuels have lower emissions than petroleum-based fuels. Liquid fuel produced from natural gas, for example, decreases some emissions 30% or more compared to conventional petroleum

The paradox is that the gases, if not converted or at least captured, have a greater negative impact on global warming than petroleum-based fuels  According to the EPA, “Pound for pound, the comparable impact of CH4 (methane) on climate change is over 20 times greater than CO2 over a 100-year period.” EPA also states that methane as a gas is responsible for 10% of the nation’s greenhouse gas emission. 

Municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills are the third-largest source of human-related methane emissions in the United States, accounting for approximately 17% of these emissions in 2009.

Converting natural gas/methane to liquid offers significant potential environmental, economic and national security benefits.  The benefits include:

  1. Reducing global warming by eliminating release of natural gas/methane at stranded locations, especially landfills and facilities with high concentrations of animal and human waste

  2. Converting natural gas to higher-value components – naphtha and hydrogen – for use at the site or for transport to another location

  3. Ability to capture natural gas currently in “stranded’ fields where no infrastructure exists to transport

  4. Providing high-quality alternative fuel (naphtha) that can be used directly in some internal-combustion engines and mixed with other fuels for broader use

Sources of Global Warming

Pie chart below depicts U.S. methane emissions by source. 30% of emissions are from natural gas and petroleum systems; 23% from enteric fermentation; 17% from landfills; 11% from coal mining; 9% from manure management; 7% from "other" sources; and 3% from wastewater treatment."

Note: All emission estimates from the Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2011.

EPA Methane Pie Chart