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Old April 16th, 2007, 15:29   #9
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Arizona
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Originally Posted by TDIMeister
Ernie, the only way I can see the numbers making any sense is, as you alluded, the greenhouse potential of CH4 over and above CO2 is taken account. I did not read the article in detail, but someone who has can chime in if that was indeed how the numbers were fudged... errr... arrived upon.

It wasn't so long ago that volatile organic gases of which methane and other light hydrocarbons are a major component, were regarded as petroleum byproducts and simply released to the atmosphere or flash-burned in impressive flames shooting out of chimneys and seen at almost every oil refinery. I wonder if the those raw hydrocarbons were ever taken stock for their greenhouse gas emissions.
CH4 has a larger IR vibrational cross section as it has both stretch (asymetric and symetric) as well as bending is much more efficient than CO2 at storing IR energy. It also absorbs at a wavelength that is more intense from sunlight, IIRC. (don't have time to consult CRC now.) So burning those gasses to produce CO2 is a lot better than just releasing them raw, though still far from ideal.

But in the process of compressing it, you're going to have some diffusive losses from seals and o-rings and such as no process is perfect.
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