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[GreenYes] biogenic nature of CO2 from composting

Title: [GreenYes] biogenic nature of CO2 from composting

Neil ~

I believe that the definition of biogenic is based on the IPCC, not the EPA. And, the biogenic emissions are not "ignored".

The studies that I have seen show that the half life of carbon in compost is much shorter than 10 years. I would highly recommend the report Solid Waste Management and Greenhouses Gases. A Life- Cycle Assessment of Emissions and Sinks, found on the Internet with related information at

There is quite a bit on the half life of carbon in soils from compost.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: GreenYes@no.address [mailto:GreenYes@no.address]On
> Behalf Of Neil Tangri
> Sent: Thursday, January 24, 2008 5:20 PM
> To: Jeffrey Morris
> Cc: eric@no.address; hspie@no.address; ricanthony@no.address;
> gaia-zero-waste@no.address; GreenYes@no.address
> Subject: [GreenYes] Re: [ZWIA] Re: LA Zero Waste pans
> Hi Jeff,
> The reason I made a point about this is that I think we need to be a
> little more critical in how we treat biogenic CO2 releases. I  know that
> the USEPA simply ignores all biogenic CO2 emissions, but I think that
> approach is both inaccurate and biased in favor of incineration.
> If composting sequesters, for example, half its carbon content for an
> average of ten years, that results in a much slower release to the
> atmosphere over time than incineration of the same material, which
> releases virtually all its carbon content instantly. Yet most current
> calculations ignore both. If we can show significant sequestration in
> compost (or anaerobic digestion), that helps to undermine climate
> change-based arguments for incineration (and landfills w/ gas
> recovery).
> Sorry if this is all old news, but that's why I'm looking for primary
> research that shows such sequestration. I'd love to see a
> copy of your
> study when it's done, and if others have other sources, I'd
> be grateful
> for those as well. My internet searches have turned up very little.
> cheers,
> Neil
> Jeffrey Morris wrote:
> > Neil,
> >
> > The CO2 releases from composting are biogenic, the methane
> is not.  The
> > assumption is that a well-managed composting operation does
> not let the
> > compost pile become anaerobic if it's an aerobic compost
> process, or that it
> > is enclosed if its an anaerobic digester that is intended
> to capture the
> > methane for energy use.
> >
> > The EPA's WARM report provides an estimate of the amount
> that soil carbon is
> > increased and sequestered through applications of compost. 
> That's one
> > source you can find on EPA's website.  You can find other
> sources as well by
> > searching the web.  I'm currently doing a brief summary for
> Seattle Public
> > Utilities (SPU) of the carbon sequestration potential from
> a variety of
> > natural lawn and garden care practices.  However, it
> probably won't be
> > available for release for a few months.
> >
> > Jeff
> >
> > Jeffrey Morris
> > Sound Resource Management
> > 360-867-1033

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