From: Steve Horn , Ecologist, More from this Affiliate
Published March 22, 2017 05:02 PM

Natural gas leaks from power plants, refineries, 100 times greater than thought

Natural gas is meant to be a far lower carbon fuel than coal, writes Steve Horn. But a new study shows that methane leaks from gas power plants and oil refineries are 20-120 times higher than thought. And with methane a greenhouse gas almost 100 times stronger than CO2 over 20 years, the leaks are equivalent to about a tenth of the US's CO2 emissions.

Researchers at Purdue University and the Environmental Defense Fund have concluded in a recent study that natural gas power plants release 21-120 times more methane than earlier estimates.

Published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, the study also found that for oil refineries, emission rates were 11-90 times more than initial estimates.

The study concludes: "Results indicate that Natural Gas Power Plants and oil refineries may be large sources of CH4 emissions and could contribute significantly (0.61 ± 0.18 Tg CH4/yr, 95% CL) to U.S. emissions." One Tg (teragram) is equal to one megatonne. 

Continue reading at ENN affiliate, The Ecologist.

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