Understanding the basics about methane capture can provide us all with a great resource for our energy arsenal. Start with landfills. There is a lot of free energy out there that can be captured and used in places of need.
According to the EPA, as of July 2013, there are 621 operational LFG energy projects in the United States and approximately 450 landfills that are good candidates for projects.
- Current and potential LFG energy projects
- Companies in the U.S. that are currently using LFG as an alternative fuel (PDF) (1 pg, 1.5MB)
Of the 2,400 or so currently operating or recently closed MSW landfills in the United States, more than 570 have LFG utilization projects. EPA estimates that approximately 450 additional MSW landfills could turn their gas into energy, producing enough electricity to power 500,000 homes.
For anybody wanting to know more about methane existing in landfills, a natural process created by organic waste, he EPA provides a Landfill Methane Outreach Program, highlighted below:
The U.S. EPA’s Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP) is a voluntary assistance program that helps to reduce methane emissions from landfills by encouraging the recovery and use of landfill gas (LFG) as an energy resource. LMOP forms partnershipswith communities, landfill owners, utilities, power marketers, states, project developers, tribes, and nonprofit organizations to overcome barriers to project development by helping them assess project feasibility, find financing, and market the benefits of project development to the community. EPA launched LMOP to encourage productive use of this resource as part of the United States’ commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Overview of LMOP and the LFG energy industry (PDF) (46 pp, 5.3MB)
LMOP provides services such as:
- Technical assistance, guidance materials, and software to assess a potential project’s economic feasibility.
- Assistance in creating partnerships and locating financing for projects.
- Informational materials to help educate the community and the local media about the benefits of LFG energy.
- Networking opportunities with peers and LFG energy experts to allow communities to share challenges and successes.
For more information, read LMOP’s brochure “Landfill Methane Outreach Program and Landfill Gas Energy: The Power of Partnership (PDF)” (4 pp, 401K)
Source: Environmental Protection Agency