Green Jobs? Or Green Hole in the Ground We Pour Money Into?

From the Japan Times"

None of the government's 214 biomass promotion projects — with public funding coming to ¥6.55 trillion — over the past six years has produced effective results in the struggle against global warming, according to an official report released Tuesday.

The Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry, which evaluates public works projects, urged the agriculture and five other ministries conducting biomass projects using sewage sludge, garbage and wood, to take corrective action.

  • Don

    I don't know about Japan, but in around Washington that last sentence would be interpreted as, "Don't just stand there! Spend something!"

  • MJ

    They could use some advice from Van Jones.

  • bob sykes

    Up until WWII, sewage treatment plants worldwide fermented captured sewage solids to methane/carbon dioxide. In most plants, the combustible mixture was used for space heating. In a few, it was fed to engine/generator sets and used to make electricity.

    This was and is an expensive proposition, because the gas is very dirty containing water, nitrogen, hydrogen sulfide, greasy aerosols and grit. All of these must be removed prior to use in an engine. Ideally the CO2 (30% by vol) should be removed, too, but that is basically a carburetion issue.

    After WWII, the expansion of natural gas pipelines allowed gas companies to sell pure methane to sewage treatment plants at less cost than what the plants spent to clean their own lower Btu CH4/CO2 mixture. This is still the case, with the cost advantage to natural gas increasing as new fields come on line.

    Nowadays, no competent, honest engineer would recommend an biogas plant to a client.

    By the way, cellulosic fuels are much more expensive to ferment than sewage solids because the lignin that binds the cellulose fibers together must first be removed. This has to be done in high temperature and pressure digestors like those used in paper pulp manufacture.

    Of course, biomass fuels other than sewage solids divert farmland from food production, but that is another issue.

    Did both an MS and PhD on this stuff, and taught it for 37 years.

  • IgotBupkis, President, United Anarchist Society

    > Green Jobs? Or Green Hole in the Ground We Pour Money Into?

    Don't be ridiculously silly. A hole in the ground, we could get the money BACK just by digging it back up...

    This is more of a giant money BONFIRE. But, thankfully, without the CO2...

  • Smock Puppet

    > The Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry, which evaluates public works projects, urged the agriculture and five other ministries conducting biomass projects using sewage sludge, garbage and wood, to take corrective action.

    > I don’t know about Japan, but in around Washington that last sentence would be interpreted as, “Don’t just stand there! Spend something!”

    Yes, indeedy. My universal translator (it struggles with both Libspeak and Bureaucratese, but does manage to function, of a sort) comes up with much the same translation as yours, MJ

    > Nowadays, no competent, honest engineer would recommend an biogas plant to a client.

    C'mon, BOB!!! This is the environmental movement!! Where the f*** would they get one of those?

  • IgotBupkis, President, United Anarchist Society

    BTW, when another AGW-induced record-cold/snowfall hits, you can think of that nice big Green Bonfire.

    That should keep you thinking, "MMMM-hmmmm! I'm all warm and toasty. Warm... and toasty."

  • CT_Yankee

    D.C. reneges on aid to install solar panels

    Dozens of District residents who installed solar panels on their homes under a government grant program promoting renewable energy have been told they will not be reimbursed thousands of dollars as promised because the funds were diverted to help close a citywide budget gap.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/27/AR2011022702910.html