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Fugitive methane emissions from an agricultural biodigester

Flesch, T.K., Desjardins, R.L., Worth, D. (2011). Fugitive methane emissions from an agricultural biodigester, 35(9), 3927-3935.


The use of agricultural biodigesters provides a strategy for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while generating energy. The GHG reduction associated with a biodigester will be affected by fugitive emissions from the facility. The objective of this study was to measure fugitive methane (CH4) emissions from a Canadian biodigester. The facility uses anaerobic digestion to produce biogas from cattle manure and other organic feedstock, which is burnt to generate electricity (1 MW capacity) and heat. An inverse dispersion technique was used to calculate emissions. Fugitive emissions were related to the operating state of the biodigester, and over four seasonal campaigns the emission rate averaged 3.2, 0.8, and 26.6 kg CH4 hr-1 for normal operations, maintenance, and flaring periods, respectively. During normal operations the average fugitive emission rate corresponded to 3.1% of the CH4 gas production rate. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

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