Biogas plant beats alternative

Published 5:35 pm Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

I appreciate Jolene Mafnas’ letter to the editor (“Surry should reject biogas,” Sept. 29). I read about Food and Water Watch, for whom she is an organizer, and I can say I am very much on board with its aims.

However, in this case, where she disparages the recovery and re-use of methane from animal waste, I must disagree.

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The methane generated by animal waste is not going to end with her prescriptions in the letter. It will continue to generate and seep into the atmosphere, where its global warming potential (GWP) is 28-36 times as much as CO2 over 100 years, and as much as 80 times as much over 25 years. So, why not capture the methane and take it to places where it will be burned into CO2, which, bad as it is, is very much less a global warming agent than methane?

Ms. Mafnas seems to be focused too much on the big-bad-local-corporation angle, and not enough on the science. Her argument should be directed at the oil and gas extraction and transport industry. That is where the methane escape problem is huge and makes animal-generated methane pale by comparison.


Dave Goodridge