Lori Zimmer

Farts to Fuel: New Methane Processing Plant in Greenpoint, Brooklyn

by , 02/12/11

National Grid, Renewable energy, gas energy, alternative energy, Brooklyn, Flatulence, Methane, turning carbon dioxide into fuel, reduce carbon dioxide

Flatulence as fuel may sound like a joke, but it’s becoming a reality in Brooklyn. Already in the works, National Grid is building a gas processing facility in Greenpoint, set to open in 2012. The facility will capture the excess methane from the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, which already treats 1.2 million cubic meters of raw sewage everyday. The escaping gas, which is a result of the purification process,  has been a topic of complaint for years, causing foul smelling flares in the neighborhood. The new process will remove methane and carbon dioxide from the excess sewage gas, therefore eliminating the offensive fart smell. The odorless gas would then be added to National Grid’s gas distribution system. Sounds like a win/win to us!

So what does that mean, other than getting rid of the foul smell? For one, the system will remove 16,650 TONS of carbon dioxide from the air, which is like having 3,000 less cars on the road. Pretty major. Additionally, the energy produced by the methane/fart conversion would yield enough to heat 2,500 homes per year! And it is renewable- just keep eating those beans.

Sounds great, right? But some Greenpoint residents are opposed, as the new treatment facility will occupy land that was proposed as a small park. We’re all for new parks, but we think National Grid’s commitment to this alternative energy source outweighs a little green space– and sets a precedent for energy companies around the country.

WHY THIS MATTERS:

While it may elicit giggles, the methane processed in this new plant will remove 16,650 TONS of carbon dioxide from the air, and yield enough to heat 2,500 homes per year! All renewably.

+ National Grid

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9 Comments

  1. aaeyhgfe June 1, 2011 at 10:51 am

    aJChrj zwlshcecqthp

  2. Kaydi May 31, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    You’ve hit the ball out the park! Incrdieble!

  3. blue February 13, 2011 at 6:38 am

    United downs in Cornwall UK makes a 1 million pounds a year from methane produced from a 30m deep hole filled simply with household waste which was sealed then drilled to tap the methane a year later. They made their money back in 6 years and have another 15 years of making 500 grand a year pure profit.

    They have 5 converted diesel engines which produce 4-6mw of electricity from the methane 24 hours a day. You do the math.

  4. kekec1000000 February 13, 2011 at 5:23 am

    In other hand in asia and low sociali developed nations are doing by its own farmers and there pore people
    of all kinds by making home made digesters for cooking, metal working, .. so that can be done eney where that
    you can substain temerature of digester interior around 40°C which methano bactera like a lot ;) It’ even more
    interesting that is with all energy sources once you have production of gas bay methano bacteria you can give them
    the right temperature with like 10% of all gas that they produce and people it is time to wake up cause this is
    a lot of millenia old knowladge still being in use by poor people today ;)

  5. kekec1000000 February 13, 2011 at 5:22 am

    England did this in 18. century runing city street lights on natural gas produced by waste water and sludge
    but they stopt the project because the oil was starting to be the new star of the dark elite!!!

  6. kekec1000000 February 13, 2011 at 5:21 am

    England did this in 18. century runing city street lights on natural gas produced by waste water and sludge
    but they stopt the project because the oil was starting to be the new star of the dark elite!!!
    In other hand in asia and low sociali developed nations are doing by its own farmers and there pore people
    of all kinds by making home made digesters for cooking, metal working, .. so that can be done eney where that
    you can substain temerature of digester interior around 40°C which methano bactera like a lot ;) It’ even more
    interesting that is with all energy sources once you have production of gas bay methano bacteria you can give them
    the right temperature with like 10% of all gas that they produce and people it is time to wake up cause this is
    a lot of millenia old knowladge still being in use by poor people today ;)

  7. whatwomenmake February 13, 2011 at 4:51 am

    good noble progressive and just SO gross.

  8. Holiday Party Guy February 10, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    @ WBrooke,

    Those six silver onions are the waste treatment plant and exist already. Parks are important. Renewable is important. How about the renewable fuel facility be required to have a rooftop park? Win Win?

    @inhabitat,
    What if you guys places a link to the local, state, and federal representatives of the site’s location in articles like this? Inform and provide access for dissent/support of public works, energy, and design? Otherwise we can just comment on a wall were no one will see it. That seems to have been working so far.

    :/

  9. WBrooke February 10, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    The Greenpoint residents complain about the smell, and then they want to build a small park right beside the offending plant?!

    Alright…we’ll either contain the smell and produce renewable fuels at the same time, OR we’ll build a park that smells like farts.

    I’ll take the renewable fuels. And the plant even looks cool! It’s like six silver onions…futuristic and organic at the same time.

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