skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Methane landfill gas. an 80's reality

Abstract

According to a recent American Gas Association report, enough methane could be extracted from America's city dumps during the 1980's to supply to 2.1 million homes annually. But to do so, federal and state policies limiting the size of dumps must be contended with. Recovery plants cost $10-$50 million. The economic breakeven point is a landfill that handles 300,000-500,000 tons/yr of refuse, based on a recovery rate of 3 million Btu of pipeline-quality gas from each ton of refuse. The economics of landfill gas recovery involve low transportation costs, since landfills are generally near urban areas where end users are located. Nationally, economic and indirect benefits would result in landfill gas having a value of over $10/million Btu to the U.S. Unfortunately, regulatory barriers exist despite a precedent of 13 active landfill methane recovery plants in operation at present in California, New Jersey, and New York.

Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
6416544
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Butane-Propane News; (United States); Journal Volume: 12:8
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
09 BIOMASS FUELS; 32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; CALIFORNIA; RESOURCE RECOVERY FACILITIES; MATERIALS RECOVERY; ECONOMICS; METHANE; RECOVERY; NEW JERSEY; NEW YORK; COST; SANITARY LANDFILLS; WASTE PROCESSING PLANTS; COST BENEFIT ANALYSIS; GOVERNMENT POLICIES; NATURAL GAS INDUSTRY; REGULATIONS; SIZE; TRANSPORT; WASTE PRODUCT UTILIZATION; ALKANES; ENERGY FACILITIES; FEDERAL REGION II; FEDERAL REGION IX; HYDROCARBONS; INDUSTRIAL PLANTS; INDUSTRY; MANAGEMENT; NORTH AMERICA; ORGANIC COMPOUNDS; PROCESSING; USA; WASTE DISPOSAL; WASTE MANAGEMENT; WASTE PROCESSING 090122* -- Hydrocarbon Fuels-- Preparation from Wastes or Biomass-- (1976-1989); 320604 -- Energy Conservation, Consumption, & Utilization-- Municipalities & Community Systems-- Municipal Waste Management-- (1980-)

Citation Formats

Not Available. Methane landfill gas. an 80's reality. United States: N. p., 1980. Web.
Not Available. Methane landfill gas. an 80's reality. United States.
Not Available. 1980. "Methane landfill gas. an 80's reality". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_6416544,
title = {Methane landfill gas. an 80's reality},
author = {Not Available},
abstractNote = {According to a recent American Gas Association report, enough methane could be extracted from America's city dumps during the 1980's to supply to 2.1 million homes annually. But to do so, federal and state policies limiting the size of dumps must be contended with. Recovery plants cost $10-$50 million. The economic breakeven point is a landfill that handles 300,000-500,000 tons/yr of refuse, based on a recovery rate of 3 million Btu of pipeline-quality gas from each ton of refuse. The economics of landfill gas recovery involve low transportation costs, since landfills are generally near urban areas where end users are located. Nationally, economic and indirect benefits would result in landfill gas having a value of over $10/million Btu to the U.S. Unfortunately, regulatory barriers exist despite a precedent of 13 active landfill methane recovery plants in operation at present in California, New Jersey, and New York.},
doi = {},
journal = {Butane-Propane News; (United States)},
number = ,
volume = 12:8,
place = {United States},
year = 1980,
month = 8
}
  • A recent demonstration project using methane from landfill gas in a phosphoric acid fuel cell may encourage more use of landfill gas in fuel cells, the cleanest energy conversion technology available today. Of the approximately 180 land-fill gas-to-energy projects operating in North American, roughly 2/3 use internal combustion engines to generate electricity. However, because of the expense to develope projects and concerns about emissions from ICEs, the search continues for technologies that can reduce air emissions, lower capital cost, and still make beneficial energy use of the methane. Fuel cells have emerged as one technology that could use landfill gasesmore » efficiently.« less
  • Research is underway at NETL to understand the physical properties of methane hydrates. Five key areas of research that need further investigation have been identified. These five areas, i.e. thermal properties of hydrates in sediments, kinetics of natural hydrate dissociation, hysteresis effects, permeability of sediments to gas flow and capillary pressures within sediments, and hydrate distribution at porous scale, are important to the production models that will be used for producing methane from hydrate deposits. NETL is using both laboratory experiments and computational modeling to address these five key areas. The laboratory and computational research reinforce each other by providingmore » feedback. The laboratory results are used in the computational models and the results from the computational modeling is used to help direct future laboratory research. The data generated at NETL will be used to help fulfill The National Methane Hydrate R&D Program of a “long-term supply of natural gas by developing the knowledge and technology base to allow commercial production of methane from domestic hydrate deposits by the year 2015” as outlined on the NETL Website [NETL Website, 2005. http://www.netl.doe.gov/scngo/Natural%20Gas/hydrates/index.html]. Laboratory research is accomplished in one of the numerous high-pressure hydrate cells available ranging in size from 0.15 mL to 15 L in volume. A dedicated high-pressure view cell within the Raman spectrometer allows for monitoring the formation and dissociation of hydrates. Thermal conductivity of hydrates (synthetic and natural) at a certain temperature and pressure is performed in a NETL-designed cell. Computational modeling studies are investigating the kinetics of hydrate formation and dissociation, modeling methane hydrate reservoirs, molecular dynamics simulations of hydrate formation, dissociation, and thermal properties, and Monte Carlo simulations of hydrate formation and dissociation.« less
  • In this experimental program, the effects of non-methane organic compounds (NMOCs) on the biological methane (CH{sub 4}) oxidation process were examined. The investigation was performed on compost experiments incubated with CH{sub 4} and selected NMOCs under different environmental conditions. The selected NMOCs had different concentrations and their effects were tested as single compounds and mixtures of compounds. The results from all experimental sets showed a decrease in CH{sub 4} oxidation capacity of the landfill bio-cover with the increase in NMOCs concentrations. For example, in the experiment using compost with 100% moisture content at 35 deg. C without any NMOCs themore » V{sub max} value was 35.0 mug CH{sub 4}h{sup -1}g{sub wetwt}{sup -1}. This value was reduced to 19.1 mug CH{sub 4}h{sup -1}g{sub wetwt}{sup -1} when mixed NMOCs were present in the batch reactors under the same environmental conditions. The experimental oxidation rates of CH{sub 4} in the presence of single and mixed NMOCs were modeled using the uncompetitive inhibition model and kinetic parameters, including the dissociation constants, were obtained. Additionally, the degradation rates of the NMOCs and co-metabolic abilities of methanotrophic bacteria were estimated.« less
  • The establishment of the Bradley West Sanitary Landfill in California is described. The development of a drain plain in the old gravel pit was necessary to protect ground water supplies. The sides of the site were benched to contain any leachate within the fill. PLans to recover methane from the site within 60 days are briefly described. Details on the operation and monitoring of the site are given. (MCW)