Methods of Reducing Greenhouse Gasses Emission
We shall look at the greenhouse gases which we examined in the previous section and see how we can reduce them; one emission at a time:
The amount of water vapor emissions into the atmosphere is very difficult to quantify, as there are few records at present. The main culprits are power stations which use huge cooling towers to cool their circulating water, the evaporated water plume being visible for miles.
In order to avoid this emission an alternative method of water cooling must be found, such as using seawater or water from saline aquifers in a closed circuit system, avoiding the release of condensation.
Responsible for a worldwide accumulation of greenhouse gases, this is the one we should be aiming to reduce in the short term.
Reduction of Domestic CO2 Emissions
I have written several articles on saving energy in the home, by using higher efficient components the use of condensing boilers in central heating, high efficient kitchen appliances, double glazing, and wall and loft thermal insulation. All these measures lead to a reduction in CO2 emissions from the domestic sector. Some of these measures can also be equally applied to business premises.
Micropower in the form of solar PV, and water heating panels, wind turbines along with domestic geothermal energy can make a big reduction to the CO2 emissions from domestic and commercial buildings. There are government incentatives to encorouge people to install these devices by offering money for electrical power returned to the national grid through Feed in Tariffs
Before we leave the public domain, let’s take a moment to think about our cars' efficiency. We all use cars as a means of transportation, however. there is no excuse for high emissions as modern cars are getting more efficient. Here in the UK, government incentives include road tax reductions for efficient vehicles having fuel consumption. There is also a scrapping allowance for scrapping an old inefficient gas- guzzler and rewarded by a cash payment which comes to the price of a new more efficient model.
Cars are now being propelled by electricity and if we use renewable energy to produce electricity we are again reducing our greenhouse gas emissions.
Reduction of Industrial Emissions of CO2
CO2 emissions (part of greenhouse gas accumulation) has been well documented, so I am not going to dwell too long on the subject
Industrial CO2 emissions are led by the use of fossil fuels produced by fossil fueled power plants.
Mitigation of these emissions can be made by the use of Carbon Sequestration, where the CO2 is separated from the rest of the combustion gasses, liquefied and stored in a long-term safe location. We have the technology in place and just have to agree on the best location and optimal method of the storage of the CO2.
Proposals include; the use of depleted oil reservoirs or coal mines, saline aquifers or in the world’s oceans.
Renewable energy is currently saving a great amount of CO2 emissions and hopefully the percentage of energy produced by these devices will continue to increase.
Energy extracted from the sea by wave energy devices along with those driven by underwater currents are becoming more popular as research and development continues. These machines can produce large capacities of electricity from most of our oceans.
Onshore and offshore wind farms, solar energy, and biomass fired power plants are now being built regularly. Hydropower is still the world’s major supplier of electricity by renewable energy.
Methane is produced in landfill sites, sewage works and cattle farms where it is sometimes freely emitted into the atmosphere. However, there are various schemes in progress to address these emissions. Methane from landfills is now being collected by a series of underground pipes and used to drive gas turbines which produce electricity. The gas from sewage works is produced by anaerobic digesters, also utilized to drive gas turbines and produce electrical power.
Farmers are beginning to use the methane produced in animal manure to fire small scale boilers which produce heat for their farmsteads.
Agriculture is the biggest producer of N2O emissions, mainly from the production and use of fertilizers. These emissions could be greatly reduced by applying natural fertilizers to the land and using nitrogen fixation plants such as clover. Both of these methods are currently being used in the cultivation of organic vegetables.
These emissions are the result of gases leaking from the various industrial chemical and refining processes. Better maintenance of their equipment and pipelines would reduce these emissions.