Carbon Credits and Thermal Mass Flow Meters

Sage Thermal Flow Meters play an important role in the trading of carbon credits; from waste to energy projects, methane destruction and carbon credit verification.

Carbon Credits Trading and Thermal Flow Meters
From waste to energy projects, methane destruction and carbon credit verification, thermal flow meters play an inherent role in the trading of carbon credits.

What is Carbon Credit?

One carbon credit represents the right to emit one ton of carbon dioxide or one ton of a greenhouse gas which has a carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). For more information on greenhouse gases see Sage Metering’s white paper “Greenhouse Gas Emissions Monitoring Using Thermal Mass Flow Meters.”

Waste to Energy

Carbon credits are generated by various methods, one of which involves converting biogas (or biomass) to renewable energy in a waste to energy project. Biogas is formed through the decomposition of organic material in an anaerobic digestion process. It is a combination of methane and carbon dioxide—typically 65% methane and 35% carbon dioxide—and can be used as a fuel source for an engine or boilers.

Methane Destruction

Each greenhouse gas has a different capacity to heat the atmosphere. Methane has a capacity of 21, meaning that each ton of methane has a warming potential equivalent to 21 tons of CO2 (this is referred to as equivalent CO2).  Thus carbon credits can be generated through methane destruction.  When using biogas as a fuel, not only is renewable energy created, but carbon credits are generated through methane destruction.

Carbon Credit Verification

Sage Mass Flow Meters are frequently used to measure and totalize the flow of biogas. The flow meter is considered an essential part of the carbon credit verification process. The Sage Flowmeter is the “cash register” for determining how much methane is destroyed.  The flowmeter also provides information that the digestion process and the destruction equipment are operating properly.

Carbon Credit Protocols Require On-Site Calibration

One important consideration when using a flow meter for carbon credits is that various protocols require quarterly calibration inspection. A key advantage of the Sage Prime is its ability to perform an on site calibration verification. This procedure can be performed quickly and easily without physically removing the sensor from the pipe or requiring additional equipment. This test matches in-process data with original calibration data, which verifies that the electronics and sensor are operational and the meter is calibrated. The calibration verification systems of other thermal flow meter manufacturers test only the electronics, or they require additional hardware or require removing the sensor from the process.

More information on the use of Sage In-Situ Calibration in carbon credit projects can be found in Camco In-Situ Application case study.

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