Environmental Protection

Renewable Energy from Landfill Gas

As the need for renewable, cleaner, and cheaper energy continues to rise, landfill gas for renewable energy production will likely become a more common practice.

For most landfills, collection efficiency is usually between 65 and 75 percent, with a gas curve generated by available data to determine how much energy the site is capable of producing. During a desk study of a landfill, daily cover and temporary and permanent capping systems are used to keep out rainfall and contain the landfill gas in the area. Organic content is the biggest influencing factor and determines how viable the landfill gas will be. After the desk study is complete, a site visit is conducted in order to confirm the draft gas curve and to begin the actual process of creating energy from the landfill gas.

The first step in the energy production process is installing deep wells into the waste mass and extracting the gas by using a pump and blower unit. This is a process that takes great care and expertise because if oxygen levels reach above a certain level, all the generator units can be destroyed. Next, spark ignition reciprocating engines use the fuel to product renewable electricity, which is then ready to sell to a local network operator.

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