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Destruction of methane from piggeries using engineered biodigesters

16 February 2017
Is the method for the destruction of methane from piggeries using engineered biodigesters suitable for your business?
  • Do you want to conduct an Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) project at a piggery?
  • Are you willing to replace anaerobic lagoons with an engineered biodigester (or install an engineered biodigester instead of constructing a new anaerobic lagoon)?
  • Are you willing to collect the biogas from the engineered biodigester and combust the methane component?

If you have answered yes to all of these questions, the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative – Destruction of Methane from Piggeries using Engineered Biodigesters) Methodology Determination 2013 (the method) may be suitable for your business. Read on for further information including eligibility and compliance details.

The method sets out the rules for Emissions Reduction Fund projects that involve the capture and combustion of biogas (from piggery manure) that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere, by directing the manure into an engineered biodigester, where it is broken down by micro-organisms.

A project using this method involves the installation and operation of engineered biodigesters, plus gas capture and combustion equipment, instead of a conventional manure/waste treatment lagoon. The biogas is combusted by a flaring system, boiler or internal combustion engine (that can also be connected to an electricity generator). The equipment can be installed at existing or new piggeries.

A project creates abatement when the combusted methane is converted into carbon dioxide which has a much lower global warming potential than methane.

Method variations

Section 114 of the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Ini​tiative) Act 2011 (the Act)​ ​allows for methods to be revised and varied. This is to ensure methods continue to operate as originally intended. Variations to methods are developed and drafted by the Department of the Environment and Energy. Information on draft methods and method variations is available on the Department of the Environment and Energy’s website.

The Clean Energy Regulator recommends making yourself familiar with proposed method variations relevant to your project should they arise, and how any changes between the original method and the varied method may affect your project plan.

Legislative requirements

You must read and understand the method and other legislative requirements to conduct the Emissions Reduction Fund project and earn Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs). This includes:

Tools and Resources​

Regulatory guidance

Quick reference guide to method for the destruction of methane from piggeries using engineered biodigesters

This quick reference guide provides basic information about eligibility criteria and obligations that must be met to earn ACCUs from a project using the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative – Destruction of Methane from Piggeries using Engineered Biodigesters) Methodology Determination 2013 (the method).  . It includes specific links to the relevant legislation but should not be viewed as an alternative to reading the full legislative requirements.

Contents

Crediting period

Seven years – The crediting period is the period of time a project can apply to claim Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs).

Eligibility requirements

There are general eligibility requirements in the Act which include:

  • newness
  • additionality and funding from other government programs, and
  • legal right.

There are other eligibility requirements in the method.

Project Activities

A project using this method must:

  • be carried out at a piggery
  • use one or more engineered biodigesters to prevent the emission of biogas
  • collect the biogas from the biodigester, and
  • combust the methane component of the biogas to convert it to carbon dioxide.

The engineered biodigesters must be used in place of anaerobic lagoons. They must receive piggery manure that would otherwise be directed to a lagoon and must have been installed (or replaced) after 1 July 2010.

Piggery manure is collected and directed into an engineered biodigester. The biogas emitted through the decomposition of piggery manure in the engineered biodigester is captured and combusted. This process reduces the amount of methane that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere in the absence of the project and allow the biogas to be used as a renewable fuel source in the production of energy.

You can combust captured biogas through:

  • flaring
  • internal combustion engine to generate electricity, and/or
  • a gas boiler used to heat water or generate steam.

Any flaring system used in the project must:

  • use a frequently sparking flare to ensure continuous destruction of methane when the flare is operational; or
  • include a temperature monitoring system that ensures the flare is operating at the temperature required for complete combustion of methane; and
  • include a control system that (i) shuts down the flow of biogas through to the flare when the temperature of the flare drops below the temperature required for complete combustion of methane; and (ii) prevents biogas flow through the flare when the flare is not operational.

A project must be classified as either a standard project or an additional waste project.

Unless the additional waste requirements in section 2.4 of the method are met, only piggery manure may be deposited into the engineered biodigesters used in the project.

How is abatement calculated?

The net abatement amount for the project is taken to be the quantity of methane emissions avoided as a consequence of the project, minus emissions from project activities.

You must use the calculations in Part 4 of the method to calculate your project abatement.

Monitoring requirements

In addition to the general monitoring requirements of the Act, projects must meet specific monitoring requirements in the method. This includes:

  • monitoring specified PigBal inputs no less than once per week, including:
    • herd data
    • herd performance data (where required)
    • piggery feed usage data, and
    • diet analysis, and
  • ensuring that all monitoring instruments are cleaned and inspected on a regular basis, and field-checked for accuracy etc.

Record-keeping requirements

In addition to the record-keeping requirements of the Act and the Rule, you must also meet the specific record-keeping requirements set out in the method. You must have:

  • a quality assurance plan prepared prior to submitting the first offsets report for the project,
  • general project information, and
  • information in relation to
    • calculating and verifying the baseline
    • combustion devices
    • monitoring equipment
    • gas composition, and
    • direct and indirect measurement.

Reporting requirements

In addition to the reporting requirements of the Act and the Rule, the method requires specific information to be included in all offset reports. (See section 5.13 of the method.)

You must include a quality assurance plan with your first report.

You can apply for ACCUs at the same time as you submit your project reports through the Client Portal using the electronic ERF Project Reporting and Crediting Application form.

Audits

All projects receive an audit schedule when the project is declared and must provide audit reports according to this schedule. A minimum of three audits will be scheduled and additional audits may be triggered. For more information on the audit requirements, see the Act, the Rule and the audit information on our website.

All non-compliance whether accidental or not or through circumstances outside your control must be reported to your auditor and rectified as soon as reasonably possible. For more information see Participant obligations.

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