Scientific American – Gas Companies Want to Recycle Your Manure

Companies in the U.S. natural gas industry have begun to scale up a program to sell methane that’s recycled from sources like hog-feeding farms and sewage plants as a replacement for natural gas drawn from wells.

It offers an opportunity to reduce a potent greenhouse gas while creating a source of revenue for the growing number of companies, cities and farmers becoming engaged in the budding process.

A “methane tracker” report released in January by the International Energy Agency calculated that the warming power of the invisible and hard-to-detect gas can be as high as 87 times more powerful than carbon dioxide during its first 20 years of life. The amount of methane circulating in the atmosphere is 2.5 times bigger than it was in the preindustrial age, the report said.

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