What are methane emission offsets?

 In Natural Gas

In “What are carbon credits?” I explained how carbon credits (CERs) are awarded to those parties which reduce their Greenhouse Gas (GHG) below a specified quota. Those tradable credits earned can be sold to companies, countries or organizations that cannot reduce their emissions, thus making a new income source for landfill and livestock operations. In this post, I discuss agricultural and landfill methane emission offsets.

In North America, the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) offers creative mechanisms to promote the reduction of Greenhouse Gases which are linked to global warming. The group provides an emission registry, reduction, and trading syste

m and has been trading GHG allowances since 2003 which is before the Kyoto Protocol was empowered. The company was acquired by IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) in 2010 and offers many protocols encouraging the reduction of Greenhouse Gas including Agricultural & Landfill Methane Collection and Combustion protocols.


Methane is an extremely potent greenhouse gas which is emitted naturally through decaying material, such as manure and other landfill waste. According to the EPA, methane is “over 20 times more effective in trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide (CO2).” For this reason, collecting methane and igniting has become an acceptable and desirable method to reduce emissions. Agricultural and Landfill methane offsets are offered to landfills and livestock operations which include approved gas collection, control systems and comply with monitoring requirements, where thermal mass flow meters are found to provide the precision needed as outlined in the CCX Offset Protocols:

    Sage Prime Industrial & Environmental Thermal Mass Flow Meter
  • Agricultural Methane Collection and Combustion
  • Landfill Methane Collection and Combustion

Landfill Gas (LFG)

Alternatively, according to the EPA, there are 400 projects in the United States where landfill gas (LFG) which has a high concentration of methane is captured. These projects destroy the methane and generate renewable energy, which can either be used to energize the site or sell to a local electric grid. As the collection and combustion programs, strict monitoring and measurement are required and thermal mass flow meters meet and exceed the requirements set by the EPA.

More information can be found on the Landfill Methane Outreach Program.

Both the CCX Agricultural & Landfill Methane Collection and Combustion Protocols and the Landfill Gas to Energy projects offer an opportunity to agricultural and livestock operations to reduce greenhouse gas, create renewable energy and earn tradable methane emission offsets through agencies like the CCX in North America.

More information can be found on https://www.chicagoclimatex.com/index.jsf.


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