Converting landfill gas (LFG) to energy results in cleaner air, as it reduces emissions of methane, which is one of the most potent greenhouses gases, according to a report by Industrial Info Resources. To help lower hazardous emissions and reduce smog and air quality problems, Industrial Info says landfill gas can be used as a renewable energy source. LFG can be used for vehicle fuel and electricity. In addition, Industrial Info says LFG also provides several economic advantages, i.e., it can provide low-cost heat and power to businesses, it creates jobs, and it”s cost-effective, reliable, and local.
Industrial Info says landfill gas is more useful when it is converted to liquefied natural gas (LNG), because its uses become more diverse. LNG has a high energy density and clean burning qualities, which make it a good option for powering vehicles.
Most states have government-backed incentives and regulations regarding air quality. Many of these are aimed at increasing the use of renewable energy. California focuses on meeting ambitious environmental goals every year. The state”s environmental goals are reflected in a renewables portfolio standard (RPS), a Bioenergy Action Plan, and Executive Order S-3-05. The current state goal is to have electricity retail sellers produce 33 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2020. The Bioenergy Action Plan aims to utilize untapped biomass resources to produce transportation fuels. The Bioenergy Action Plan works in conjunction with Executive Order S-3-05, which plans to reduce California”s greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020.
Over the years, Industrial Info says many energy companies have dedicated a sector of their business to implementing more innovative, clean-burning fuel projects with lower environmental impact. The Altamont LFG-to-LNG facility near Livermore, Calif., is an example of a currently operating renewable energy project, according to Industrial Info. The facility is a joint venture between Linde North America and Waste Management Incorporated. The facility is considered the world”s largest LFG-to-LNG plant. Industrial Info says the companies received financial support of $15.5 million to help with the construction of the plant, which began operating in 2009 and can produce up to 13,000 gallons of LNG per day at full capacity. The plant is designed to create clean fuel from tons of garbage and then use that fuel to power collection trucks, as well as other Waste Management vehicles. Ultimately, the plant aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 30,000 tons per year.
At the end of 2009, Waste Management had 119 landfill gas-to-energy projects, and the company currently has 227 landfills nationwide.