Posted by ian on Wednesday, July 06, 2011.

New biogas offset project

Our latest offset project, the Wewoka Biogas Project, is Brighter Planet’s first ever biogas project. Once again we’re working with our partner NativeEnergy to support a small project that fights climate change and strengthens the local community. The project’s emissions reductions will be validated and verified under the Verified Carbon Standard using its landfill gas protocol.

Since 1925, the family-owned Commercial Brick Corporation has supplied materials to homes and businesses throughout the country. Today they are the largest employer in rural Wewoka, IL, supporting hundreds of families. With rising Natural Gas prices they looked for an alternative fuel to heat their kilns and found an unexpected source: the landfill next door.

Municipal solid waste landfills are the second largest source of human-related methane pollution in the United States. As waste in landfills decomposes anaerobically (without oxygen) it produces methane, a powerful greenhouse gas with 21 times the climate impact of CO2. But this polluting biogas can be captured and put to use. In Wewoka, it will provide renewable fuel for Commercial Brick’s kilns.

To capture the methane, vertical gas wells installed in the landfill will be connected to a central blower. The blower will then push the methane through a half-mile pipeline to the brick kilns, which are being retrofitted to burn biogas just like regular natural gas. If the kilns malfunction, a flare will burn the excess gas at the landfill. The project will avoid the equivalent of about 25,000-30,000 metric tonnes of CO2 per year, and this reduction will be validated and verified under the Verified Carbon Standard.

Without revenue from offset sales the kiln retrofits and pipeline and blower construction would be too expensive to justify the investment. It’s thanks to Brighter Planet’s cardholders and customers that this project has become reality.

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