Sunday, January 14, 2007

Energy from a dump

Here's an idea for the Hardy Road landfill -- turn it into a source of gas for heating and fuel. Jackson Township is going to be home of a new facility called the Green Energy Center built on the cite of a landfill:

"E.P.A. okays Green Energy Center

The final air permit has been issued for the Green Energy Center next to SWACO's Franklin County Landfill (3857 London Groveport Rd, Jackson Township, Ohio). Construction on the facility should begin about six (6) weeks after local permitting approval.

SWACO's landfill will provide the gas needed to produce methanol and CNGat the Center. FirmGreen Fuels LLC of Newport Beach, California will operate the Green Energy Center and purchase the gas from SWACO.

The Center is expected to produce up to 20 million gallons per year of methanol, which would provide up to 100 million gallons per year of B20 biodiesel to the marketplace. Landfill gas will also be used to generate 1.6 MW from an engine and microturbines. Additionally, waste heat from the microturbines will provide space heat and hot water for the administrative office building and maintenance facilities of SWAC."

Is this form of energy source the wave of the future? Will it be restricted to already completed landfills or is it an excuse to keep on dumping? What kinds of things are in the landfill that create the methanol? More details here.


microdot said...

What a mess we've made. We might as well get some benefit from the dumps while we figure out how to make less garbage. I read stories all the timne about inventors who can turn waste plastic into gas or diesel fuel. There was a farmer here in the Dordogne on television a few weeks ago with a system he put together that digested plastic and he ran his tractor on the results.
Energy has to come from many sources, all free and non polluting! Water turbines, tidal generators, wind, solar, geothermal as well as things that just haven't been invented yet, but they will!
I'm feeling very positive now that I'm over the flu!

Village Green said...

Digesting plastic would imply that there would indeed be some kind of waste product after the plastic is processed for energy. I'm betting that would be nasty stuff.

Remember going to see The Graduate when you were young, and the old man says to Dustin Hoffman's character, "One word -- plastic!" Yeah, plastic was the wonder material when we were kids. Now I look at it and wonder how the planet will ever rid itself of the stuff without choking on it.