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Carbon Forum America February 27, 2008. Over Ten Years of Advancing the Recovery and Use of Methane in the U.S. and Abroad. Brian Guzzone US Environmental Protection Agency Climate Change Division. EPA’s Voluntary Programs Have Produced Measurable Results.

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carbon forum america february 27 2008

Carbon Forum AmericaFebruary 27, 2008

Over Ten Years of Advancing the Recovery and Use of Methane in the U.S. and Abroad

Brian Guzzone

US Environmental Protection Agency

Climate Change Division

epa s voluntary programs have produced measurable results
EPA’s Voluntary Programs Have Produced Measurable Results
  • Methane is the 2nd most important GHG and a valuable, clean-burning energy source
  • Reducing methane yields near-term economic, environmental and energy benefits
  • Methane to Markets (M2M) launched in Nov. 2004 with 14 countries
    • M2M builds off of US success
    • EPA key architect of the Partnership
    • Advances US climate change and clean development goals
  • Partnerships in four sectors have contributed to an 11% reduction in U.S. methane emissions since 1990
methane partnerships
Natural Gas STAR

over 100 companies (57% of industry) in program

Since 1993, companies have reported reductions of 63 MMTCE, valued at over $4.2 billion USD.

Coalbed Methane Outreach Program

80% of mine degasification CH4 is used (up from 25% in 1993)

industry effort to demonstrate use for ventilation air methane

Methane Partnerships
  • Landfill Methane Outreach Program
    • Over 425 US projects -- tripled since 1994
    • Strong interest from carbon market
  • AgSTAR
    • Since 1994, the number of biogas recovery systems has doubled; over 180 projects - generating about 300 million kWh per year.
usepa agstar program
  • Encourages the use of methane recovery technologies at animal feeding operations.
    • Anaerobic digesters are biological manure treatment systems that collect and combust off-gases.
  • Currently about 110 steady-state digesters in the US.
    • another 20-30 in start-up or under construction.
  • Almost 7,000 dairy and swine farms that are good project candidates.
    • Focus - CA: 1,000 dairy opportunities; IA/NC: 2,000 swine opportunities
  • Prime activities – education of producers, state agencies, consultants, project developers, utilities and others on proper design, installation and operation of AD systems.
    • Accomplished through educational materials and workshops, general outreach, technical analysis, and project development assistance.
  • AgSTAR jointly sponsored by USDA and DOE.
agstar digester activity region 9
AgSTAR/Digester Activity – Region 9
  • AgSTAR Annual Conference, Sacramento, November 2007
    • 350 attendees, 40 exhibitors, lots of interest
  • 6th Annual Arizona Dairy Production Conference, Phoenix, October 2007
    • ½ day on AD systems (two AgSTAR staff presentations)
  • “Using biogas decreases greenhouse gas emissions, produces renewable energy, and safeguards local air and water quality. The EPA is pleased to see the St. Anthony dairy digester come on line—it's good for the environment and farmers.”
    • Wayne Nastri, EPA Reg 9 RA, at AD project opening in Sonoma County, Sept 2007 – presented AgSTAR sign to the farm
  • Multiple projects in CA in advanced planning or permitting stages
    • AD biogas to pipeline quality (at least 4 projects planned)
    • PG&E very active at present
    • SMUD has three AD biogas-to-electricity project planned in Sacramento area
  • Exhibited at Tulare Farm Show, Feb 2008 – 100,000 attendees
  • Plans to have AD workshop in the Southwest in 2008

Anaerobic Digester Distribution and Potential

Currently operational AD systems

(# / MWhs)

AgSTAR Resources
  • General Outreach
    • Annual AgSTAR Conference, AgSTAR Digest newsletter, Farm Extension Events, Workshops
  • Project Development
    • Managing Manure with Biogas Recovery Systems
    • Industry Directory
    • Funding Guide for Federal and State Resources
    • Market Opportunities for Biogas Recovery Systems
  • Technical Analysis
    • A Protocol for Quantifying and Reporting the Performance of Anaerobic Digestion Systems for Livestock Manures
    • Mass Balance Waste Management Evaluations
    • Dairy and Pig Manure Case Studies
  • Project Evaluation Tools
    • AgSTAR Handbook - A Manual for Developing Biogas Systems at Commercial Farms in the United States
    • FarmWare - develops project specific feasibility assessments

Landfill Methane Capture and Use

  • Methane is produced and emitted during the anaerobic decomposition of organic material in landfills
  • Globally, landfills are the 3rd largest anthropogenic source, accounting for 13 percent of emissions
    • 2nd largest in the US
  • Emissions in Industrialized Nations
    • Increased LFG regulation
    • Increased recycling of organics/paper
    • Increased utilization (>1000)
  • Developing Nations Sharply
    • Shift from open dumps to sanitary/engineered landfills
    • Increased MSW generation and disposal
    • Lack of LFG regulation and recycling
epa s landfill methane outreach program
EPA’s Landfill Methane Outreach Program
  • Established in 1994
  • Voluntary program that creates alliances among states, energy users/providers, the landfill gas industry, and communities

Mission: To reduce methane emissions by lowering barriers and promoting the development of cost-effective and environmentally beneficial landfill gas energy (LFGE) projects.

lfg has been used to help produce

Alternative fuels (biodiesel, CNG, ethanol, and LNG)

Aquaculture (e.g., tilapia)

Arts & crafts (blacksmithing, ceramics, glass)

Biosolids (drying)

Bricks and concrete


Cars and trucks



Consumer goods and containers



Fiberglass, nylon, and paper

Furthering space exploration

Garden plants

Green power

Ice cream, milk, and tea

Infrared heat

Juice (apple, cranberry, orange)


Pierogies and snack food

Soy-based products


Tomatoes (hydroponic)

Taxpayer savings and increased sustainability!

LFG Has Been Used to Help Produce…
state of the lfg industry in epa region 9 feb 08
State of the LFG Industry in EPA Region 9 (Feb ‘08)
  • 74 operational projects supplying:
    • 2.3 billion kilowatt hours of electricity and 1.6 billion cubic feet of LFG to direct-use applications in 2007
  • Estimated Annual Environmental Benefits*
    • Planting ~3,500,000 acres of forest, or
    • Preventing the use of ~29,800,000 barrels of oil, or
    • Removing emissions equivalent to ~2,450,000 vehicles

*benefits based on total reductions, regardless of regulatory requirements

  • Estimated Annual Energy Benefit
    • Powering over 180,000 homes and heating more than 11,000 homes
many untapped lfg resources in region 9
Many Untapped LFG Resources in Region 9
  • Current potential from 63 candidate landfills: 26.6 billion cf LFG/yr (~1,500 MMBtu/hr) OR 128 MW (~1.1 million MWh/yr)
  • If projects were developed at all 63 landfills:
    • Estimated Annual Environmental Benefit =

Planting ~3.2 million acres of forest OR removing the emissions from ~2.2 million vehicles on the road, AND

    • Estimated Annual Energy Benefit =

Powering 81,000 homes OR heating 165,000 homes

  • Potential from landfills flaring excess gas or without a project:
untapped u s lfg carbon credit opportunities
Untapped U.S. LFG - Carbon Credit Opportunities
  • Currently ~420 landfills without an operational project and indicated to not be currently required by federal regulation to collect & combust LFG
    • Nearly 1.3 million short tons methane/yr reduction potential (24.2 MMTCO2E/yr or 6.6 MMTCE/yr)
    • Gas generation potential of 120 billion cubic feet/yr (~7,000 MMBtu/hr) OR electric potential of 590 MW (~5 million MWh/yr)
  • If projects were developed at all these landfills, estimated
    • Annual Environmental Benefit from CH4 reduction =

Planting ~6.4 million acres of forest OR removing the emissions from ~4.5 million vehicles on the road,


    • Annual Energy Benefit =

Powering 375,000 homes OR heating 745,000 homes per year

how can we work together
How Can We Work Together?
  • USEPA’s Landfill Methane Outreach Program is a voluntary technical assistance and partnership program that creates alliances among states, energy users/providers, the landfill gas industry, and communities
  • LMOP can help you…
  • Analyze landfill resource – gas modeling
  • Identify potential matches – LMOP Locator
  • Assess landfill and end user facilities
  • Initial feasibility analyses – LFGcost
lmop tools and services
LMOP Tools and Services
  • Network of 700+ Partners (and growing)
  • Newsletter and listserv
  • Direct project assistance
  • Technical and outreach publications
  • Project and candidate landfill database
  • Web site (
  • Support for ribbon cuttings/ other PR
  • Presentations at conferences
  • State training workshops
  • LMOP 12th Annual Conference, Project Expo & Partner Awards – January 2009

EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson

Keynote Speaker 11th Annual LMOP Conference

Washington, DC

January 9, 2008

electricity case study alameda power telecom and city of palo alto ca
Two community-based utilities teamed up to meet renewable energy goals

Alameda – currently 80% renewables

Palo Alto goal – 10% of electric load from new renewables by 2008; 20% by 2015

Buena Vista (3.2 MW) online in ‘06

Ox Mountain (11.4 MW) and Keller Canyon (4 MW) to be online in ’08

= Total of 18.6 MW by end of 2008

Electricity Case StudyAlameda Power & Telecom and City of Palo Alto, CA

LMOP 2007 Energy Partners of the Year

contact us
Contact Us…
  • Websites
  • Contacts
    • AgSTAR: Chris Voell,, 202.343.9406
    • LMOP: Brian Guzzone,, 202.343.9248