Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Natural Gas Power Plants Emit up to 120 Times More Methane than Previously Estimated - DeSmogBlog

Mystic Generating Station, on the Mystic River in Everett, Massachusetts, a gas and oil-fired power plant. Also shown is a wind turbine which is not part of the power plant, but owned by the water authority to power a pumping station(Credit: commons.wikimedia.org) Click to Enlarge.
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.  Natural gas, long touted as a cleaner and more climate-friendly alternative to burning coal, is obtained in the U.S. mostly via the controversial horizontal drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”).

The scientists measured air emissions at three natural gas-fired power plants and three refineries in Utah, Indiana, and Illinois using Purdue's flying chemistry lab, the Airborne Laboratory for Atmospheric Research (ALAR).  They compared their results to data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program.

Read more at Natural Gas Power Plants Emit up to 120 Times More Methane than Previously Estimated

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