Past Project Concept Submissions

The Reserve has received numerous project protocol concept submissions. The various project types are outlined below: expand the title to review the Reserve’s determination of the concept’s potential for standardized project protocol development.

Algae Oil Biofuel
Project Concept: Algae Oil Biofuel
Description: Production of hydrocarbons by algae to replace crude oil imports and use in the U.S.
Reserve Assessment: This project type rates well for positive environmental co-effects but challenges include the potential reductions falling under future U.S. regulation (CO2 from fossil fuel in the baseline), the reductions occurring indirectly when fossil fuel use is replaced by algae oil biofuel, and the availability of high quality data and quantification methods since this project type is in its research and development stage.
Anesthetic Gas Recapture and Reuse
Project Concept: Anesthetic Gas Recapture and Reuse
Description: Recapture and reuse of anesthetics in operating rooms in order to displace the production and use of virgin anesthetics.
Reserve Assessment: This project type rates well in terms of the potential reductions being additional (project activities are not considered “business as usual” and not required by current or future regulation) but significant challenges include developing standardized baseline determinations, limited reductions in the U.S., availability of data and quantification methodologies, accurate and cost-effective measurement and monitoring techniques, and the eligibility of the anesthetic gas (whether the global warming potentials have been assessed by international scientific organizations).
Aviation Biofuel Fuel Switching
Project Concept: Aviation Biofuel Fuel Switching
Description: Replacing jet plane fuel with a blend of fossil fuel and biofuel produced from feedstocks such as Camelina, Jatropha, algae, and/or waste cellulosic biomass.
Reserve Assessment: This project type rates well in terms of its potential for reducing GHG emissions. However, challenges include the data availability for quantifying and establishing additionality thresholds as well as standardizing additionality determinations when the life cycle assessment of potential biofuel feedstocks must be considered.
Avoided Emissions from De-vegetation
Project Concept: Avoided Emissions from De-vegetation
Description: Avoiding crop production related emissions from farm equipment, fertilizer oxidation, and production, packaging, and transportation of crop inputs by protecting native grasslands where a demonstrable threat of conversion can be documented. This project concept is similar to avoided conversion forest projects.
Reserve Assessment: This project type rates well for positive environmental co-effects but challenges include developing standardized additionality and baseline determinations as well as accurate and cost-effective measurement and monitoring techniques. The Reserve may address this as a potential project activity during the Cropland Management Project Protocol development process. Please see the Cropland Management webpage for more detail.
Bicycle Commuting and Sharing Programs
Project Concept: Bicycle Commuting and Sharing Programs
Description: A variety of programs that increase bicycle commuting, decrease and avoid the number of fossil fueled vehicle trips, and provide the management systems and tools to share bicycles, track commutes, and quantify avoided emissions over time.
Reserve Assessment: This project rates well for positive environmental and social co-effects but significant challenges include the emission reductions (from avoided fossil fuel use) occurring under proposed cap-and-trade regulation, accurate and cost-effective measurement and monitoring techniques, availability of high quality data for quantification and establishing additionality thresholds, and developing standardized additionality and baseline determinations.
Biomass-to-Energy
Project Concept: Biomass-to-Energy
Description: A variety of project activities that use biomass or waste biomass as a source of fuel in order to offset fossil fuel use.
Reserve Assessment: One challenge facing this project type includes developing standardized baseline determinations because of the variety of biomass feedstocks that could be used for the project (what would have happened to the feedstocks during “business as usual” activities before the project is initiated). Other challenges include the ability to accurately and cost-effectively measure and monitor the project activities and emission reductions as well as the availability of high-quality data sets and quantification methodologies. Please see the Soil Carbon Sequestration of Biochar issue paper, available below under the Issue Papers section, for more detail on biomass feedstocks.
Canada ODS Foam Destruction
Project Concept: Canada ODS Foam Destruction
Description: Adapting the foam ozone depleting substances (ODS) destruction guidance from the Reserve’s U.S. ODS Project Protocol Version 1.0 for use in Canada.
Reserve Assessment: This project type has potential for development if and when the Reserve adapts the U.S. ODS Project Protocol for use in Canada. This webpage will be updated if the Reserve expands protocol development to Canada.
Catalytic Reduction of N2O in Nitric Acid Plants
Project Concept: Catalytic Reduction of N2O in Nitric Acid Plants
Description: Employing N2O abatement technology (secondary or tertiary catalyst) at nitric acid plants in order to reduce the N2O emissions from nitric acid production.
Reserve Assessment: This project type rated well for all protocol development criteria and was consequently developed into the Nitric Acid Production Project Protocol.
Cropland Management (Conservation Tillage / Cover Crops)
Project Concept: Cropland Management, including Conservation Tillage, Cover Crops, etc.
Description:Conservation Tillage: Reducing the intensity of tillage so that a certain percentage of crop residues remain in the soil, thereby increasing soil carbon sequestration. Reducing tillage also results in reduced diesel consumption.
Cover Crops: Adding cover crops to a crop rotation may increase levels of soil carbon and other nutrients in the soil, help reduce N2O and fertilizer emissions, improve nitrate leaching, conserve water, and generally improve soil quality, among other benefits.
Reserve Assessment: This project type rates well for potential GHG reductions in the U.S. but challenges with this project type include assessment of additionally, accurate and cost-effective measurement and monitoring techniques, and mechanisms to ensure permanence of carbon storage. See the background papers below for more information about cropland management practices and their potential for protocol development.

Cover crops may be addressed in future updates to the Nitrogen Management Project Protocol.

  • Background Paper: GHG Assessment Boundaries and Leakage for Cropland Management (June 17, 2011)
  • Draft Summary of Background Research on Additionality for Cropland Management Project Protocol (April 1, 2011)
  • Background Paper: Methodology Synthesis for Cropland Management (March 10, 2011)
  • >Destruction of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS)
    Project Concept: Destruction of Ozone Depleting Substances
    Description: Destroying ozone depleting substances (ODS) from air conditioning equipment and insulation foams. Substances include specific CFC refrigerants and CFC or HCFC blowing agents in foam.
    Reserve Assessment: This project type rated well for all protocol development criteria and was consequently developed into the U.S. and Article 5 Ozone Depleting Substances Project Protocols.
    Elimination of SF6 from Magnesium Production
    Project Concept: Elimination of SF6 from Magnesium Production
    Description: Replacing SF6 cover gas with an alternate gas of little or no-global warming potential.
    Reserve Assessment: This project type rates well for significant U.S. potential reductions, existing quantification methodologies, direct rather than indirect emission reductions, standardizing baseline determinations, and accurate and cost-effective measurement and monitoring techniques. However, challenges with this project concept include proposed U.S. caps on GHG emissions and extensive voluntary agreements to eliminate SF6 which affect the additionality of the project activity.
    Energy Load Reduction
    Project Concept: Energy Load Reduction
    Description: Improving energy efficiency whereby an electricity end-user can enroll in a demand response load reduction program to reduce proposed electricity rate increases.
    Reserve Assessment: This project type rates well for its potential for U.S. GHG emission reductions but significant challenges include proposed U.S. caps on GHG emissions as well as the indirect emission reductions resulting from the project activity.
    Environmentally Friendly Building / Green Building
    Project Concept: Environmentally Friendly Building / Green Building
    Description: Using biomass or waste biomass to produce environmentally friendly building material for business and home development. Reduces or eliminates the need for forest lumber and wood products in commercial and residential buildings.
    Reserve Assessment: This project type rates well for positive environmental and social co-effects but challenges include developing standardized additionality and baseline determinations, accurate and cost-effective measurement and monitoring techniques, availability of quantification methodologies and data, indirect emission reductions, and limited U.S. potential for GHG emission reductions.
    HFC Avoidance
    Project Concept: HFC Avoidance
    Description: Avoiding the use of HFCs by using non-global warming potential (GWP) blowing agents in polyurethane foam production and the production of other similar products. The project concept credits the avoided fugitive emissions of HFCs during the production process.
    Reserve Assessment: This project type rates well for available data and quantification methodologies for emission reductions; however, challenges with this project type include the limited potential for emission reductions in the U.S. and the additionality of the reductions given potential future U.S. phase-out of HFC production.
    In-Situ Landfill Composting
    Project Concept: In-Situ Landfill Composting
    Description: Composting process of “in situ” aerobic degradation of organic waste in landfills. Wells are drilled to inject air and moisture into closed landfill cells in order to accelerate the decomposition of waste and avoid the production of methane gas. This composting system is also known as an aerobic bioreactor.
    Reserve Assessment: This project type rates well in terms of potential U.S. emission reductions, direct and additional reductions, and the availability of quantification methodologies. Challenges with this project type include the monitoring and measurement of emission reductions and determination of the baseline emissions. The Reserve is commissioning an issue paper to further scope this concept, see In-Situ Composting and Bioreactors in the Issue Papers section below.
    Low Temperature Asphalt Production
    Project Concept: Low Temperature Asphalt Production
    Description: Substituting a proportion of the bitumen binder used in hot mix asphalt which results in lower mix production temperature and therefore reduced consumption of fossil fuels. There is also opportunity to credit the avoided fugitive methane emissions associated with the handling and storage of bitumen since the production of bitumen is avoided when using a substitute for asphalt production.
    Reserve Assessment: This concept rates well with many of the protocol development criteria but the most significant challenge is the limited total potential for U.S. emission reductions.
    Metal Recycling
    Project Concept: Metal Recycling
    Description: Recycling end life products into feedstocks for steel, aluminum, and copper mills. The credited project activity for this concept is the reduction in energy from using recycled material over virgin material.
    Reserve Assessment: This project type rates well for significant U.S. potential reductions but challenges include future U.S. caps on GHG emission reductions, emission reductions occurring outside the control of the project (indirect reductions), and the additionality of emission reductions given that a high percentage of metals are already recycled in the U.S. as “business as usual.”
    Methane Avoidance from Rice Farming
    Project Concept: Methane Avoidance from Rice Farming
    Description: Altering planting and flooding practices to avoid methane emissions released during “business as usual” rice farming.
    Reserve Assessment: This project type rated well for all protocol development criteria and is consequently being developed into the Rice Cultivation Project Protocol, expected completion in spring 2012.
    Methane Avoidance from Shale Gas Extraction
    Project Concept: Methane Avoidance from Shale Gas Extraction
    Description: Avoiding the release of methane gas from shale gas extraction by leasing mineral rights in exchange for emission reduction credits. Emission reduction credits provide incentive for the landowner to protect their land against shale gas extraction.
    Reserve Assessment: This project type rates well for positive environmental co-effects; however, challenges include the emission reductions occurring under proposed U.S. caps on GHG emissions, emission reductions occurring indirectly, potential leakage from increased gas extraction elsewhere, standardizing additionality and baseline determinations, availability of high quality data for quantification and establishing additionality thresholds, and availability of accurate and cost-effective measurement and monitoring techniques.
    Municipal Waste Optimization
    Project Concept: Municipal Waste Optimization
    Description: Using web-based and wireless technologies to track and optimize municipal solid waste and other waste generated by residential households. Goal is to reduce waste volumes sent to landfills and improve recycling rates.
    Reserve Assessment: This project concept rates well for positive environmental and social co-effects, accurate monitoring and measurement techniques, and additionality of emission reductions but significant challenges include standardizing baseline determinations and emission reductions occurring indirectly.
    Natural Gas Use Reduction in Air Pollution Control Equipment
    Project Concept: Natural Gas Use Reduction in Air Pollution Control Equipment
    Description: Replacing add-on controls in air pollution control equipment which use natural gas to combust pollutants. Emission reductions are avoided methane release from the baseline scenario.
    Reserve Assessment: This project concept rates well for the availability of data for quantification and establishing additionality thresholds, availability of accurate measurement and monitoring techniques, and standardizing baseline determinations. However, challenges include the emission reductions occurring under potential U.S. caps on GHG emissions and the emission reductions occurring indirectly.
    Paper Recycling
    Project Concept: Paper Recycling
    Description: Municipal curbside recycling programs that use incentives to increase the diversion of paper from landfills above historical diversion rates.
    Reserve Assessment: This project type rates well for U.S. potential to reduce GHG emissions, the additionality of emission reductions, and availability of quantification methodologies but challenges include emission reductions occurring indirectly, developing standardized additionality and baseline determinations, availability of high quality data for quantification and establishing additionality thresholds, and accurate and cost-effective measurement and monitoring techniques.
    Personal Carbon Credits
    Project Concept: Personal Carbon Credits
    Description: Measuring and verifying reductions in energy use at residential households through efficiency improvements in electricity, natural gas, heating oil, and/or propane use. Credits would be given to the residents initiating the project activity.
    Reserve Assessment: This project concept rates well for established quantification methodologies, significant U.S. potential to reduce emissions, and availability of data for quantification but challenges include the emission reductions falling under U.S. potential caps on GHG emissions, emission reductions occurring indirectly, standardizing additionality and baseline determinations, and availability of accurate measurement and monitoring techniques.
    Small Scale Fuel Switching from High Carbon to Low Carbon Fuel
    Project Concept: Small Scale Fuel Switching from High Carbon to Low Carbon Fuel
    Description: Where fossil fuels are used in industrial, residential, commercial or electricity generation activities, fuel is changed from a more carbon intensive fuel to a fuel that is less carbon intensive.
    Reserve Assessment: This project type rates well for availability of a well-developed quantification methodology and U.S. potential for emission reductions but challenges involve the emission reductions occurring under proposed U.S. caps on GHG emissions, emission reductions occurring indirectly, standardizing additionality and baseline determinations, and availability of accurate and cost-effective measurement and monitoring techniques.
    Truck Fuel Economy Upgrades
    Project Concept: Truck Fuel Economy Upgrades
    Description: Implementing various upgrade equipment to the standard tractor trailer design and operations to improve baseline fuel economy and reduce carbon emissions from avoided fossil fuel use.
    Reserve Assessment: This project rates well for U.S. potential for emission reductions but challenges include the emission reductions occurring under proposed U.S. caps on GHG emissions, emission reductions occurring indirectly, standardizing additionality and baseline determinations, availability of well-developed quantification methodologies, and available data for establishing additionality thresholds.
    Truck Stop Electrification
    Project Concept: Truck Stop Electrification
    Description: Reducing idling time, and therefore fossil fuel use, at truck stops through electrification stations for truck cabs.
    Reserve Assessment: This project type rates well for availability of quantification methodologies and availability of data for quantification and establishing additionality thresholds; however, challenges include the emission reductions occurring under proposed U.S. caps on GHG emissions, emission reductions occurring indirectly, developing standardized additionality thresholds, and low U.S. potential for emission reductions. The Reserve commissioned an issue paper for Truck Stop Electrification which can be downloaded below under the Issue Papers section.
    Used Oil Initiative
    Project Concept: Used Oil Initiative
    Description: Re-refining used oil to reduce emissions from the production and use of virgin fuel oil.
    Reserve Assessment: This project concept rates well for U.S. potential for emission reductions and availability of quantification methodologies but significant challenges include the emission reductions occurring indirectly and under proposed U.S. caps on GHG emissions, standardizing additionality and baseline determinations, data availability for quantification and establishing additionality thresholds, and accurate and cost-effective monitoring techniques.
    Wood Waste Gasification
    Project Concept: Wood Waste Gasification
    Description: Converting carbon-containing waste, such as wood waste, into a synthesis gas (syngas) using an oxygen-constrained, high temperature process. Emission reductions result by diverting waste from landfills (avoided methane emissions) and the syngas can also be used to displace natural gas.
    Reserve Assessment: This project type rates well for additionality of the avoided methane emission reductions, standardizing additionality and baseline determinations, availability of quantification methodologies, and availability of data for quantification and establishing additionality thresholds but challenges include very limited U.S. potential for emission reductions and accurate and cost-effective measurement and monitoring techniques. Also, emission reductions from the displacement of natural gas are indirect reductions and fall under proposed U.S. caps on GHG emissions.

    If you have questions about project concept submissions, please contact the Policy Team.