Wewoka Biogas ProjectHB
Carbon Model: Help Build™
Carbon Project Type: Landfill Gas-to-Energy
Location: Wewoka, Oklahoma, U.S.A.
Volume: 30,000 metric tons per year
Standard: Verified Carbon Standard
Commercial Brick Corporation’s owner Bob Hartsock is passionate about bricks. From gray shale-based bricks that turn red when fired, to unusual and exotic brick blends, he can describe at length the products his company offers. And, since its founding in 1925, Commercial Brick has supplied materials to homes and businesses throughout the country. Bricks aren’t the only thing the manufacturer supplies, however — as the largest employer in rural Wewoka, Oklahoma, they are also a key source of jobs for hundreds of local families.
As natural gas prices rise, the Hartsocks have been searching for alternative ways to heat their kilns. The solution has come from an unexpected source: the landfill next door.
Municipal solid waste landfills are the second largest source of human-related methane pollution in the United States. The waste in landfills decomposes anaerobically (without oxygen) and produces methane, which seeps into the atmosphere. Methane gas is 21 times more powerful than CO2 in forcing global warming. This polluting biogas can, however, be captured and put to beneficial use. In Wewoka, it is providing renewable fuel for Commercial Brick’s kilns.
To capture the methane, vertical gas wells were installed in the landfill and connected to a central blower. The blower pushes the methane through a half-mile pipeline to the brick kilns, which have been retrofitted to burn landfill gas just like regular natural gas. If the kilns malfunction, a flare will burn the excess gas at the landfill. The project will avoid approximately 25,000-30,000 tons per year of greenhouse gas emissions.
Bob Hartsock said that the discounted gas from the landfill will cover his investment and help the company remain competitive in a challenging market. Their community depends on them, so they’re excited that the project will help both the environment and the economy of Wewoka.
With the promise of upfront revenues from NativeEnergy’s Help Build™ carbon offsets sales, project construction was completed and Commercial Brick Corporation began receiving gas from the project in Fall 2011.
Sustainable Development Benefits
- Traps and destroys polluting methane gas that otherwise would be emitted from the landfill
- Reduces the unsustainable use of fossil fuel
Social and Community Benefits
- Helps a local business—Wewoka’s largest employer—stay competitive
This project is a collaborative effort among NativeEnergy, Commercial Brick Corporation, Wewoka Gas Producers, LLC, and everyone who purchases NativeEnergy’s Help Build™ carbon offsets from this project.
Validation and Verification
The project’s emissions reductions are being validated and verified annually under the Verified Carbon Standard using its landfill gas protocol.
NativeEnergy has ensured that the discount provided to Commercial Brick was necessary for its determination to retrofit its burners, and that the gas collection system and pipeline would not have been implemented without the opportunity to receive revenues from the sale of its carbon offsets.