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.


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