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Monday
Jan052009

EPA Will Give Up to $7 Million in Grants to Spur Methane Reduction Innovations

Bacteria is a big source of methane gas, which is found in termites mound, cow flatulence, rice paddies, swamps, and in the sea bed. Methane also comes from petroleum fields and is the natural gas you cook with. Photo courtesy of ChemistryLand.com

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Environmental Protection Agency, through its Methane to Markets partnership program, will make up to $7 million in grants available for international initiatives to reduce global methane emissions by promoting capture-and-use projects in oil and gas systems, coal mining, landfills, and animal waste management.

Methane is emitted from a variety of both human-related and natural sources. Human-related activities include fossil fuel production, animal husbandry, rice cultivation, biomass burning, and waste management. These activities release significant quantities of methane into the atmosphere. It is estimated that 60% of global methane emissions are related to human-related activities.

Natural sources of methane include wetlands, gas hydrates, permafrost, termites, oceans, freshwater bodies, non-wetland soils, and other sources such as wildfires.

Methane is about 21 times more powerful at warming the atmosphere than carbon dioxide by weight. Methane’s chemical lifetime in the atmosphere is approximately 12 years. Methane’s relatively short atmospheric lifetime, coupled with its potency as a greenhouse gas, makes it a candidate for mitigating global warming over the near-term, such as next 25 years or so, according to EPA projections.

The agency is requesting proposals for projects that will directly identify, characterize, and implement methane capture-to-use initiatives. Proposals should include the strategy, implementation methods, efficiencies, materials, time projections, and costs.

A wide variety of institutions are eligible to submit proposals, including public or private non-profit organizations, universities, hospitals, laboratories, and all levels of national and international governments. Included in the eligibility will be proposals from developing countries or countries with economies in transition that are applying to join the partnership, as long as an acceptable letter of intent is submitted to the Methane to Markets Administrative Support Group by the proposal deadline of March 5, 2009, at 11:59 p.m. EST. The estimated project period for awarded proposals will be from September 2009 through September 2012.

The agency expects to award up to 40 cooperative grant agreements ranging from approximately $100,000 to $700,000. 

Institutions whose proposals are accepted will be working to advance project developments in the following partner countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, Columbia, Ecuador, India, Kazakhstan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Mongolia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Thailand, Ukraine, and Vietnam.

To learn more information about applying for a grant, visit Methane to Markets Grant Solicitation

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