Waste Management To Fuel Altamont California Area Trucks With Landfill-Harvested Liquid Natural Gas


California government agencies are supporting a large-scale project to better manage garbage and recyclables in a California joint venture between Linde North America , a Linde Group subsidiary, and Waste Management . The project - the first of several across the State - will create the world's largest facility to convert landfill gas into clean vehicle fuel.

Waste Management, North America's largest waste management company, and Linde North America have announced a joint venture to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility, located at the Altamont Landfill near Livermore, California to convert landfill gas into a clean vehicle fuel. The project offers a unique opportunity to "close the loop" by fueling hundreds of collection trucks with clean fuel produced from garbage.
The companies will partner to install systems to purify and liquefy the landfill gas Waste Management collects from the natural decomposition of organic waste in the landfill. When the facility begins operating in 2009 it will be able to produce up to 13,000 gallons a day of LNG.
The $15.5 million Waste Management-Linde project will receive grant assistance from the California Integrated Waste Management Board, the California Air Resources Board, and the South Coast Air Quality Management District. The long range goal is to capture hundreds of millions of gallons of LNG per year from California landfills.

In terms of climate action, it's important to consider that all landfill-generated natural gas or "methane", unless captured and put to use, will ultimately escape to the atmosphere and, once in the stratosphere, will have a longer and greater adverse climate impact than simple C02 - which is produced by vehicle combustion of LNG.

This project is also part of the company's environmental sustainability initiative to double its waste-based energy production from the equivalent of 1 million to 2 million homes each year by 2020 as well as directing capital spending of up to $500 million per annum over a 10-year period to increase the fuel efficiency of its fleet by 15 percent and reduce fleet emissions by 15 percent by 2020 as well as investments in new technologies to enhance our business.

Energy efficiency consideration:: A municipal waste incinerator has natural gas as an energy input to achieve full combustion of both biodegradable and non-biodegradable organic matter. Significant energy can be recovered if the technology is designed for that (rare). Although large scale municipal solid waste landfills are largely a North American technology, there are thousands of them already generating methane: ready for the capturing.

Via::Press Release (pdf document) Image credit::ACAP project, Altamont Landfill, 2002

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