College Papers

Canada is one of the top five producers and exporters of natural gas in the world 1, because of this natural gas used a feedstock for this process is readily available. Therefore, rather than extracting the natural gas, the process will purchase natural gas from a local supplier which will take gas from a well in Saskatchewan and supply the process using the TransGas pipeline 4, part of the Canadian interstate natural gas pipelines to use as a feedstock for the BYC process.Buying the gas for the process as opposed to extracting it has several environmental benefits to the BYC Solutions plant; for example, it reduces the water use for hydraulic fracturing and reduces the risk of contamination to groundwater and surface water, as a new natural gas reservoir will not have to be tapped; releasing CH4 to the environment as well as producing additional CO2 emissions. CH4 and CO2 are both greenhouse gasses that have a global warming potential of 35 and 1 respectively over 100 years.Additional reasons that natural gas is used as a feedstock as opposed to other carbon sources considered, such as coal and splitting water, on top of the ready availability of the natural gas is that: Acquiring coal is an energy-intensive process which produces a large amount of particulate emissions, causing air pollution and potentially contaminating ground water, both of which will have adverse effects on the local populations, both human and animal. There is also potential for sulphur-containing rocks to be exposed to the atmosphere in the mining process 5, this can cause acid-rain to form as sulphur containing compounds have high acidification potentials. This acid rain can affect the pH values of soils, causing the plants in the surrounding area to be damaged. This acid rain can also damage man-made structures.Splitting water was considered but ultimately discarded due to the massive energy investment which would contribute a large amount of CO2 as it would most likely be powered by fossil fuels 6.