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Old 12-21-2012, 05:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Is it true or not that methane gas is a Greenhouse gas stronger than CO2?

If its not as strong a greenhouse gas then why not stop drilling CNG (which is about the same thing) so much, and just tap into landfill/sewage treatment/animal methane gas?
I read somewhere that methane gas is a greenhouse gas 23 times as heat trapping as CO2, but yet CNG produces 21% less greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline.

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Old 12-21-2012, 07:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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you got one thing right methane is every where, I saw a video of a young girl catching some bubbles from a pond and filling a two litre bottle with them she stuck a straw in the cap and lit it !! I heard its more explosive than Natural gas though
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Old 12-21-2012, 07:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I met a guy who had a business generating electricity from New Yorks landfills, pretty wealthy guy , so must be doing something right , all do able just tricky the epa sometimes doesnt even agree with itself.
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Old 12-22-2012, 09:21 AM   #4 (permalink)
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you got one thing right methane is every where, I saw a video of a young girl catching some bubbles from a pond and filling a two litre bottle with them she stuck a straw in the cap and lit it !! I heard its more explosive than Natural gas though
Methane IS the main component of natural gas (which usually also includes some heavier gases like propane and butane).
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Old 12-22-2012, 09:28 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Afrersize View Post
If its not as strong a greenhouse gas then why not stop drilling CNG (which is about the same thing) so much, and just tap into landfill/sewage treatment/animal methane gas?
You won't get the necessary volumes by tapping into the alternative NG sources, but it is already being done.
In some countries in Europe, you can buy "bio"gas, which is methane sourced from landfills, sewage, cattle farms, ...

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I read somewhere that methane gas is a greenhouse gas 23 times as heat trapping as CO2,
That's when methane gets into the atmosphere, i.e. without burning it.

There's plenty of that happening naturally - at sea, in thawing permafrost, ...
Drilling for gas lets some more of it escape - either as raw methane, of it gets burned off (using flares) when it can't viably be transported to shore.

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but yet CNG produces 21% less greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline.
That's when you burn it.
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Old 12-22-2012, 11:07 AM   #6 (permalink)
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We cant enough land fill gas to replace all the gas from wells.
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Old 12-22-2012, 12:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It's true that methane (CH4) is a potent greenhouse gas, but unlike CO2, it doesn't have a very long lifetime in the atmosphere. Release a molecule of methane today, and in a few years it will combine with oxygen: CH4 + 2O2 -> CO2 + 2H2O. That's an exothermic reaction, meaning you get energy out. A molecule of CO2, stays around for thousands to millions of years, since the reactions to convert it to C + O2 (or various carbohydrates, etc) are all endothermic, meaning you have to put energy in via e.g. photosynthesis.
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Old 12-22-2012, 07:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Your right about it being more of a green house gas than CO2. That is why many or all refrigerants are controlled. R12 refrigerant was banned because it broke down the ozone layer in the atmosphere, but the newer refrigerants are bad for global warming if released directly int o the atmosphere. The od thing about this is that refrigerants are controlled, but there is nothing stopping you from emptying your propane tank int o the atmosphere. The effects are just as bad. Propane makes a good refrigerant, but because of it's ability to burn, it's banned from use in that way because of the treat of explosion if it leaks.
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Old 12-23-2012, 12:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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...but there is nothing stopping you from emptying your propane tank int o the atmosphere. The effects are just as bad.
Yes and no. As with methane, the effects might be bad, but propane degrades in fairly short order. Fluorocarbon refrigerants, like CO2, take a lot longer to degrade, so they accumulate.

If the components of natural gas didn't degrade, we'd have a lot of methane &c in the atmosphere, just from normal biological processes. In fact, there was some news this past year about detection of methane in the Martian atmosphere as being a possible sign of life.
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Old 12-23-2012, 01:00 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Methane and nitrous oxide are both very "strong" greenhouse gasses. And they both break down over a few years - but part of the resulting gasses after that include carbon dioxide.

Nitrous oxide comes from water soluble nitrogen fertilizers (that we make from natural gas i.e. methane) that washes out of the soil with the first water/rain.

So, if methane is released directly into the air, or if it burned (combined with oxygen) - either way, we get more greenhouse gasses. If we get the methane from landfills or from sewage or farm waste, then that carbon came very recently from the air, and so it does not *add* to the carbon dioxide level in the air, over time.

It's only when the carbon comes from underground, from where it had been sequestered for millions and millions of years that it adds to the level of carbon dioxide in the air, that it becomes a problem.

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