Week 3: CDM calculation

My work in the last week, was to study calculations in CDM biogas methodology. CDM, Clean Development Mechanism, is the only mechanism to reduce greenhouse gas emssions from developing countries by creating partnerships between developed countries and developing countries. In emission measurement, there are a lot of complex equations.


These are some math formulaes in the methodology, and these are 31 formulaes in total. Honestly, these formulaes are not that easy for me, a science-background graduate student, to understand. So for countries without good education, it is tough for them to start a CDM application.


As we know, the majority of historical greenhouse gas emission in the atmosphere comes from developed countries, but those countries want developing countries to take the same responsibility to reduce the emission. The US even quitted from Kyoto Protocol and this behavior made a lot of countries annoying. I think all the emission reduction participants have the right to ask:”why you want us to take your responsibility while you do nothing?”And according to Chinese history documents, the climate was getting much colder in the past thousands of years, so that a little bit hotter will not be a big deal, but coastal and island countries have to think about their survival due to their low sea level.

In the western world, there is a saying “do as what I say, not what I do”. But yourself cannot to something, how can you require others since you cannot achive it? Comparing with this saying, I prefer another saying from Confusius:”If the ruler himself is upright all will go well even though he does not give orders. But if he himself is not upright, even though he gives orders, they will not be obeyed.”


week 1, section 1: gas flow meter guideline translation

The first task I need to finish is to translate a guideline book of a gas flow meter. As an international student from China, of course I can do bilingual in a lot of works. I can read, write and speak in both English and Chinese. Unfortunately, I cannot translate.

I cannot translate because in my learning experience English and Chinese are separate. I love ancient Chinese, but translating ancient Chinese articles into Modern Chinese is still difficult for me. To be honest, jumping between two languages always makes me feel confused and exhausted.

My external supervisor asked me to do a translation in March, and I made it into a mass. So I realized there are huge differences between two languages and translating needs skills. My best friend, major in English, recommended a book to me about the comparisons between two languages and also two different cultures.

During this summer, I read this book twice. It helped me a lot in overcoming barriers in different explanations. However, since I am not good at grammar (I do hate the complexity of English grammar. Chinese is never this complicated.), some examples in the book is still tough for me to read.


This is the book and some of my highlights. It told me how to translate and my translation this time was much better than before.

Week 2: BMP


In Water Sensitive Urban Design, a course in PCGS in spring 2016, the term BMP refers to Best Management Practice for managing water in civil engineering. But in biogas field, this term, BMP, refers to Biomethane Potential.

BMP, talks about potential production rate of a specific feedstock. Or maybe we can call it capacity as well. The BMP of a feedstock, such as livestock manure, can be tested in lab manually or automatically.


The BMP of a feedstock can be tested through several steps:

1. collect and weigh a specific amount of feedstock as several samples;

2. put these samples in closed bottles;

3. create the most suitable environment for a couple of days until no gas release;

4. collect and purify all biogas released and measure the volume number;

5. calculate BMP result.

For biogas, it is common to see a relatively high BMP in digestate. For some people, it means wasting material, but other people tend to believe it is a proper way to save time to produce more biogas in one period of time.

Week 1, Section 2: marketing survey on gas flow meter

The second part of my work in this week is to do a market survey on other meter suppliers in China. So I need to be like a meter buyer, ask them about their meter-prices, and write a report to analyze how they set their prices.

With the help from Internet,  I found 9 suppliers who sell gas flow meters. I wrote down their phone numbers and social communication account. I also saw 2 wet gas flow meter sellers, but this is another category which is widely used in labs, not industries.

At first, I thought buying a meter was just like shopping in supermarkets. Price tag should be obvious and small adjustments might exist due to different sizes. But I was wrong. I made the first phone call, but the guy on his side was not patient enough. From his words, I realized that a meter buyer need to know the specific kind of meter he want, such as orifice, material and so forth. Another seller gave me a lot of advice in how to choose a meter according to different requirements.


this table is from a meter guideline and you need to make choices in each categories.

I also found fake phone numbers and unavailable social accounts. To be honest, it is never a good manner to waste other people’s time in this way. A good start is important, but many people do not have a good end.


Management in an enterprise

My internship is in an machine-selling company called bioprocess control. It is a small company in Sweden with no more than twenty staff and I am in its branch in Beijing. It sellings its own machine, which tests biomethane potential, and other stuff related to biogas projects.

An order was sent to Sweden about a machine requirement. The order said a machine with 24 V, which was wrong. The receiver found the mistake, communicated with the Beijing side and said he will send the right machine and regardless about the wrong part in the order. But he was absent when the machine was sending. The other person who sent the machine does not know the mistake in the order and sent a wrong one to Beijing.

They all said it is correct to separate tasks clearly and reduce overlaps between each other. I think it is easy for big companies to do so since there are many staff in each department and if someone is absent others can take his work so that no delays will happen. But here, what I see is the consumer made phone calls but the responsible person was not there so that delays happened a lot. For such a tiny enterprise, one person have to take care of one or even two departments. If the responsible person cannot show up in accidents, things have to delay. I do think small companies should be flexible to fit in different situations since they are not comparable to big enterprises.

Picture from: http://www.bioprocesscontrol.com/