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Landfill gas is a complex mix of different gases created by the action of microorganisms within a landfill.
1 Production 2 Monitoring 3 Landfill gas migration 4 Landfill gas use 5 Opposition 6 Environmental effects 7 Microbial oxidation 8 See also 9 References 10 External links
Landfill gas production results from chemical reactions and microbes acting upon the waste as the putrescible materials begins to break down in the landfill. The rate of production is affected by waste composition and landfill geometry, which in turn influence the microbial populations within it, chemical make-up of waste, thermal range of physical conditions, and the biological ecosystems co-existing simultaneously within most sites. This heterogeneity, together with the frequently unclear nature of the contents, makes landfill gas production more difficult to predict and control than standard industrial bioreactors for sewage treatment. Due to the continual production of landfill gas, the increase in pressure within the landfill (together with differential diffusion) causes the gas's release into the atmosphere. Such emissions lead to important environmental, hygiene and security problems in the landfill. Several accidents have occurred, for example at Loscoe, England in 1986, where migrating landfill gas, which was allowed to build up, partially destroyed the property. An accident causing two deaths occurred from an explosion in a house adjacent to Skellingsted landfill in Denmark in 1991. Due to the risk presented by landfill gas there is a clear need to monitor gas produced by landfills. In addition to the risk of fire and explosion, gas migration in the subsurface can result in contact of landfill gas with groundwater. This, in turn, can result in contamination of groundwater by organic compounds present in nearly all landfill gas. Landfill gas is approximately forty to sixty percent methane, with the remainder being mostly carbon dioxide. Landfill gas also contains varying amounts of nitrogen and oxygen gas, water vapour, hydrogen sulphide, and other contaminants. Most of these other contaminants are known as "non-methane organic compounds" or NMOCs. Some inorganic contaminants, such as mercury, are also present in the gas of some landfills. There are sometimes also contaminants, such tritium) found in landfill gas. The non-methane organic compounds usually make up less than one percent of landfill gas. In 1991, the US EPA identified ninety-four non-methane organic compounds, including toxic chemicals like benzene, toluene, chloroform, vinyl chloride, and carbon tetrachloride. At least forty
fluorine. Landfill gas migration Landfill gas migration due to pressure differentials and diffusion can occur. such as chlorine. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that there are approximately six thousand landfills in the United States. it is required that many large landfills install gas collection and control systems. monitoring. producing methane. design. which means that at the very least the facilities must collect and flare the gas. These landfills are the largest source of anthropogenic methane emissions in the United States. This program was developed to reduce methane emissions from landfills in a costeffective manner by encouraging the development of environmentally and economically beneficial landfill gas-toenergy projects. Federal regulations under Subtitle D of RCRA formed in October 1979 regulate the siting. This can create an explosion hazard if the gas reaches sufficiently high concentrations in adjacent buildings. convert the methane to methyl alcohol. Subtitle D now requires controls on the migration of methane in landfill gas. Surface monitoring and sub-surface monitoring as well as monitoring of the ambient air is carried out. boiler (makes heat). Monitoring requirements must be met at landfills during their operation. and closure of MSW landfills. Flame ionization detectors can be used to measure methane levels as well as total VOC levels. internal combustion engine (makes electricity). operation.one of the non-methane organic compounds are halogenated compounds (chemicals containing halogens. or bromine. General options for managing landfill gas are: flaring. clean it enough to pipe it to other industries or into natural gas lines. The landfills affected by Subtitle D of RCRA are required to control gas by establishing a way to check for methane emissions periodically and therefore prevent off-site migration. Landfill gas use Main article: Landfill gas utilization . The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that another 600 landfills could support gas to energy projects. construction. and for an additional 30 years after. Most of these landfills are composed of municipal waste. Under the Clean Air Act of 1996. These landfills will contribute an estimated four hundred and fifty to six hundred and fifty billion cubic feet of methane per year (in 2000). The Environmental Protection Agency has also established the Landfill Methane Outreach Program. gas turbine (makes electricity). and. Monitoring Main article: Landfill gas monitoring Some of the gases produced by landfills are hazardous and monitoring techniques have been developed. therefore. Landfill owners and operators must make sure the concentration of methane gas does not exceed 25% of the EL for methane in the facilities' structures and the LEL for methane at the facility boundary.
steam turbines. [Waste Management. so it can be used for electricity or upgraded to pipeline-grade gas. This energy production offsets almost two million tons of coal per year. Once collected.  The landfill gas can also be sold off site and sent into natural gas pipelines. carbon dioxide. These projects collect the methane gas and treat it. This requires the gas to be processed into pipeline quality by removing the water. The number of landfill gas projects went from 399 in 2005. Electricity can also be generated on site through the use of micro turbines. Some environmental groups claim that the projects do not produce renewable power because trash (their source) is not renewable. The landfill gas can be utilized directly on site by a boiler or any type or combustion system. This displaces another fuel that was previously used for the same thing. The Sierra Club opposes any government subsidies for them. Methane is considered over 20 times more detrimental to the atmosphere than Carbon Dioxide Microbial oxidation . to 594 in 2012 according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Inc|Waste Management]] uses landfill gas as an energy source.The gases produced within a landfill can be collected or flared off. Waste Management currently has 110 landfill gas-to-energy facilities. buildings. These projects also reduce greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. another byproduct of the landfill process. or fuel cells. This provides raw heat for processes. wind. (Methane gas has twenty times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. These projects are popular because they control energy costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Figure 1 Figure 2 Opposition Large projects often cost millions of dollars.  Landfill gas can also be used to evaporate leachate. oxygen and any other trace contaminants. both of which are greenhouse gas. and vehicles. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) believes that government incentives should be directed more towards solar. Their landfill gas-to-energy projects create enough energy to power four hundred thousand homes every day. The major components are CO2 and methane. and energy-efficiency efforts. the gas has several different pathways it can take. nitrogen. Once in the general supply of natural gas. Environmental effects Landfill gases have an influence on climate change.) These projects power homes.This is a good substitute of natural gas and run the vehicles more efficiently. it can be used at power plants producing electricity or in home boilers. hydrogren.
SUR. EPA. ^ https://commons. Retrieved 27 September 2013. Chapter 3.wikipedia. O. Retrieved 2010-04-25. The Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology 24 (2).gov/biomass/landfill_gas. Retrieved 2010-04-26. ^ https://en. (1999)Landfilling of waste: Biogas 7.usatoday.htm). Unpublished thesis 2. T. Retrieved 2010-04-26.thinkgreen.gassep. Retrieved 27 September 2013.gov/hac/landfill/html/ch5. R.dk/Udgiv/publikationer/2001/87-7944-831-3/html/kap30. 14.energyjustice. Retrieved 27 September 2013.. 191-207 5.htm). ^ "Landfill Gas Power Plants" (http://www. Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry.ca. (2003) An investigation into the continuous monitoring of landfill gas and the commercial viability of the Intelysis landfill gas monitor. R. R. ^ Brosseau. Gas Separation Technology LLC. T.html).html). H..epa. 285-293 3. ^ "Landfill Gas to Energy" (http://www. "The Importance of Landfill Gas Capture and Utilization in the U. Retrieved 2010-04-25. ^ Koch. EPA.com/Papers/Sullivan_Importance_of_LFG_Capture_and_Utilization_in_the_US.com/money/industries/energy/2010-02-24-landfill-energy_N. a fraction of the methane in the gas is oxidized microbially to CO2. .m. ^ Sullivan. Retrieved 27 September 2013. Energy Justice Network. ^ Danish EPA (http://www2.html). See also Anaerobic digestion Biogas Biodegradability Flue gas Relative cost of electricity generated by different sources Underground coal gasification References 1.JPG.dk/common/Udgivramme/Frame. Waste Management. Retrieved 2010-04-26.S" (http://www.pdf).com/landfill-gas-to-energy). Gas Separation Technology LLC. Cossu. 18. ^ "Landfill Gas Control Measures" (http://www.JPG. USA Today..cdc. H.org/wiki/File:Leachate_evaporation_system. "Landfill Projects on the rise" (http://www. & Stegmann.com/lfg. Retrieved 2010-04-26-2010. Retrieved 27 September 2013. 11. & Stegmann.gov/lmop/basic-info/index. 17.htm) 6. R.atsdr. AtmosphericEnvironment 28 (2). J. Missing or empty |title= (help) 16.wikimedia. Patrick.5 In Christensen. ^ Williams and Aitkenhead (1991) Lessons from Loscoe: The uncontrolled migration of landfill gas. H. Manchester University. Missing or empty |title= (help) 12. Wendy (2010-02-25). ^ "Landfill Gas" (http://www.scsengineers.org/wiki/File:Landfill_gas_collection_system. 10. ^ Burdekin. Retrieved 2012-07-29.energy. California Energy Commission. ^ Kerfoot.gassep.htm). ^ Christensen.B.com/landfill-gas-to-energy/methane-to-energy/). Cossu.biosphereplastic.When landfill gas permeates through a soil cover.net/lfg/).mst. ^ "Landfill Gas to Energy" (http://www. 15. 8.mst. (1994) Trace gas compound emissions from municipal landfill sanitary sites. ^ "Primer on Landfill Gas as "Green Energy"" (http://www.com/lfg. ^ "Landfill Gas" (http://www. 13. (1999) Landfilling of waste: Biogas 4.asp? pg=http://www2. ^ "Landfill Methane Outreach program" (http://www. 9.