How much Municipal Solid Waste is considered the size of
SMALL Landfills / Garbage Dumps?
Now-a-days there appears to be no limit to the size of a “Landfill project to produce energy” as long as the people who own it can find
1. an end user for the gas or electricity
2. Funding for the project.
The Landfills/Garbage Dumps discussed in this post range from 360,000 tons to 2.8 million tons of waste-in-place.
IN THIS POST
- SMALL Landfills
- New Zealand
- I found this USA EPA Document written specifically for SMALL Landfills.
- Steps for Developing an LFG Use Project
- Maybe you have a very old Landfill?
- Landfill CELLs are very important – to capture the Gas.
- Outlook for biogas and biomethane: Prospects for growth
- Many Islands have SMALL Landfills.
- More posts on Waste to Energy
2 million tons of MSW generates LFG that could be used to produce:
~1.56 megawatts (MW) of electricity
~864,000 cubic feet per day of LFG
or 867,400 (GGEs) per year of CNG
You can use LMOP’s Interactive Conversion Tool (a Microsoft Excel file) to derive some of these values, available at https://www.epa.gov/lmop/list-tools-related-landfill-gas-and-waste-management .
Per 2023 USA EPA calculations, the environmental benefits of a 1 million ton MSW in-place Landfill that can produce 0.78-megawatt of electricity are approximately equal to:
>>> Carbon sequestered by ~ 51,500 acres of forest in one year,
>>> CO2 emissions from more than 230 railcars’ of coal burned
>>> CO2 emissions from ~ 4.9 million gallons of gasoline consumed
USA EPA LMOP’s Landfill Gas Energy Benefits Calculator (an Excel tool), estimates the environmental equivalencies. https://www.epa.gov/lmop/landfill-gas-energy-benefits-calculator. For a Landfill that produces 0.78 megawatts of electricity: enter 0.78 in cell D8 or enter 0.432 in cell I7 to obtain estimates. For example, the total 2023 benefits for a
The EPA’s Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP) would like to help you find out if you can develop a LFG project. The EPA apparently wants to help communities work with any size landfill even a “Landfill with a lower LFG flow rate”.
Contact the Global Methane Initiative, if you are somewhere else in the world.
I found this USA EPA Document from 2001 written specifically for SMALL Landfills.
Small Landfills=Untapped Energy Potential
Date: Fri, Sep 8, 2023 at 4:19 PM
U.S. EPA LMOP:
Yes, the basic premise of the document you referenced, Small Landfills=UNTAPPED Energy Potential, is still valid. LMOP encourages and supports the beneficial use of LFG from small landfills and believes that LFG energy projects can be implemented at many of these smaller sites if an appropriate end user can be determined, funding procured, etc. However, there is some information in the document that is out of date, given its age. The Benefits sidebar of the document is certainly still applicable.
There are 4 case studies in the document:
Pennsylvania Landfill’s Problem Evaporates – The leachate produced at the landfill required costly treatment and disposal. As a solution, the landfill operators employed a technology that uses the heat generated by burning LFG to evaporate leachate on-site.
New York Landfill Gets Cool Results – The city of Saratoga Springs, New York, took an innovative approach by combining an environmental benefit with a favorite winter pastime. The city’s Department of Public Works has been operating a cogeneration LFG use project at its Weible Avenue Landfill (2.1 million tons of waste-in-place) since 1997. Owned and operated by the city, the cogeneration system uses LFG generated by the landfill to produce electricity and heat for the city-owned skating rink, which is located
across the street from the landfill.
New Mexico Landfill Uses Innovative Microturbine Technology – Albuquerque, New Mexico, was facing a challenge not unlike those tackled by many cities—LFG was detected escaping from the city’s closed Los Angeles, NM, Landfill (2.8 million tons of waste-inplace). The city looked to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP) for assistance in finding a solution that would not only prevent the migration of LFG, but also would use the LFG as an energy source. LMOP arranged for the city and a local company, Honeywell Power Systems, Inc., to collaborate on a, successfull, pilot test of Honeywell’s new LFG- fueled 75 kilowatt microturbine. (There are new power generation technologies today, also looking for places to test.)
Greenery and Crafts Benefit from a North Carolina Landfill – The Blue Ridge Resource Conservation and Development Council, which represents seven North Carolina counties, assembled an 80-member task force to identify end users for the LFG at the Yancy/Mitchell Landfill, which has just over 360,000 tons of waste-in-place. The task force decided to use the LFG in an innovative manner to heat and power onsite greenhouses and a craft studio. EnergyXchange, NC: https://www.epa.gov/lmop/landfill-gas-energy-project-data#energyxchange
Further from U.S. EPA LMOP:
There are a few More resources we can point you to regarding LFG use at small landfills / landfills with a lower LFG flow rate:
- LMOP’s Project Profiles, at https://www.epa.gov/lmop/landfill-gas-energy-project-data#project , include some examples of low-flow LFG energy projects:
- Crow Wing County, MN: https://www.epa.gov/lmop/landfill-gas-energy-project-data#crow
- Jackson County Green Energy Park, NC: https://www.epa.gov/lmop/landfill-gas-energy-project-data#jackson
- J.J. Brunner Landfill, PA: https://www.epa.gov/lmop/landfill-gas-energy-project-data#brunner
- Seward County Landfill, KS: https://www.epa.gov/lmop/landfill-gas-energy-project-data#seward
- LFG Energy Project Development Handbook, Chapter 3 discusses some of the options for low flow rates, such as small engines, infrared heaters, greenhouses, artisan applications, leachate evaporation, and onsite vehicle fuel production: https://www.epa.gov/lmop/landfill-gas-energy-project-development-handbook
- Webinar: Leveraging Untapped Landfill Gas Potential: https://www.epa.gov/lmop/webinar-leveraging-untapped-landfill-gas-potential
- There have been presentations given at previous LMOP events that touted the benefits and successes of smaller LFG energy projects, e.g., https://www.epa.gov/sites/default/files/2018-03/documents/5_stan_steury_lmop.pdf
Read About it in the presentation! To allow smaller landfills with smaller budgets to achieve similar benefits as larger landfills, KSD Enterprises has adapted their technology to Gensets. Our smaller Gensets can be used individually, or connected together to utilize all the available gas at your landfill.
…..And there are new technologies in electric generation like this Linear Generator, that may make it easier for Small Landfills to put their LFG to use.
You and your Community Council can look around and find a use for the Garbage Dump / Landfill Gas (LFG) to be produced in your Landfill Cells….some examples:
- Place your Landfill Cell right next to an existing power plant, so that you can pipe the LFG right into their natural gas supply line.
- Place your Landfill next to an existing waste water facility, to power their operations
- Does your community have a recycling center? Put your Landfill Cell next to it, to power the conveyor belt operations in that facility.
- Other municipal buildings that need electricity.
- Place your Landfill Cell next to any other anaerobic digester operation nearby
- Think carefully what other existing facilities in your community can use fuel and put your Landfill Cell next to it.
Steps for Developing an LFG Use Project
>> Estimate LFG Recovery Potential and Perform Initial Assessment or Feasibility Study
>> Evaluate Project Economics
>> Establish Project Structure
>> Draft Development Contract
>> Assess Financing Options
>> Negotiate Energy Sales Contract
>> Secure Permits and Approvals
>> Contract for Engineering, Procurement & Construction, Operation & Maintenance Services
>> Install Project and Start-Up Operation
Maybe you have a very old Landfill?
A closed/contained Landfill Cell can still be useful
The Future of Landfills is Bright
- Once your Landfill Cell has been closed, it will have a finite life of 25 or more years, depending on its size, during which LFG will be produced inside it.
- Plan to cover it with a solar or Vertical wind farm when the area is settled.
- And know that down the line, technology is already available that can turn Municipal Solid Waste DIRECTLY into syngas, without the use of the Landfill, and you can place this new technology on top of your closed Landfill.
Landfill CELLs are very important – to protect the surrounding environment and capture the Gas.
The IEA, still does not see the potential of ALL the Garbage Dumps around the world. I could very well be wrong, but I believe there is more energy to be captured than others believe. BUT the IEA does point out that………………..
“This report estimates that around 30 Mtoe (~40 billion cubic metres [bcm]) of biomethane – mostly landfill gas – could be produced today at a price that undercuts the domestic price of [fossil] natural gas; this is already ten times more than total biomethane consumption today.
The cost gap is projected to narrow over time as biomethane production technologies improve and as carbon pricing in some regions makes natural gas more expensive. Recognition of the value of avoided CO2 and methane emissions goes a long way towards improving the cost-competitiveness of biomethane.“
Rest of world
Last updated 19 Mar 2020 –
–time to update this again!–
Many Islands have SMALL Landfills. They also can contribute their waste to Waste to Energy. Take a look:
Vision RNG LLC brought together a team of seasoned professionals with decades of experience across the natural gas and waste management industries. Combining proven LFG technologies with processes widely used in the conventional natural gas sector, we provide a unique solution to capture, process, and commercialize LFG at mid-sized sites previously considered too small for viable projects.
What is the final objective?
To capture the Methane from People Created Waste and USE IT.
…one way is RNG as fuel. From RNG you can make electricity, too.
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