Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman Faculty of Engineering and Science (FES Setapak) Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) Mechanical Engineering

UEME4243 Engineer In Society Session 2010/01 Year 1 Semester 3

Group Assignment Lecture Group: Lecturer: Due Date: 4 Dr. Lee Kok Yong 18 March 2010

Title:

Landfill Gas (LFG), Green or Not Green Energy?

Name 1. Dennis Lai Zhan Wen

Student ID 09UEB06733

Lecture Group 4

Course ME

Sign

There is nothing. they will undergo anaerobic digestion mostly by the microbes on any organic matter. It also consists of varying amount of nitrogen. and generation of liquid leachate such as clay or plastic lining materials. It is not only generated by the landfill. Explosion hazard would occur if the landfill gas is not properly treated as it consists of one of the green house gases that cause global warming as methane. ON EPA’s (United State Environment Protection Agency) reports on the utilization of the landfill gas. The term landfill methane is deceiving as it’s usually to imply that the landfill gas is just a simply methane. This gas can be either collected or just being flared off after being pumped out from the landfill using perforated pipes. they just act or pretend that the all of these halogenated non-methane compounds just simply destroyed or does not exist. This is the oldest form of waste treatment compare the new treatment that consists of recycle centre. Landfill gas is not the same thing as the natural gas that is either produced by the fossil fuels or methane. radioactive contaminants such as tritium (radioactive hydrogen) have been found in the landfill gas. poorly-designed or poorly-managed landfills can create a number of adverse environmental impacts such as wind-blown litter. carbon dioxide. water. sulphur and a hundreds of other contaminants – which most of them are known as “non methane organic compounds or NMOs. chloroform. While for the landfill gas. As everyone knows. Vice versa. incineration or plasma gasification. propane. Methane is a hydro carbon (CH4) that is consists of one carbon atom and 4 hydrogen atom. fluorine and bromine atoms that go into the burner that would be burn with the methane to produce heat or energy to turn the turbine for producing electricity or heat energy. this gas can create odor problems and eventually kill surface vegetation. vinyl chloride.History Landfill gas (LFG) is a gas that is produced in the landfill which is a site that used for the disposal of waste materials by burial. With a proper design and well managed landfill. Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman – Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (Hons) . they are often produced in the swarm or in the stomach of a cow. It is often establish in a place that already abandoned or unused quarries. and 1. at least 41 of these are halogenated compounds and many others are nonhalogenated toxic chemicals. butane. matter cannot be simply created and destroyed. approximately 80% to 99% is consists of methane with the remainder are always to be mostly other hydrocarbon such as ethane. they refer to destruction efficiency of various landfill gas combustion technologies. the primary gas that produce from the landfill is 21 times more efficient at trapping heat than carbon dioxide. On the other sides. sulphur and various contaminants. and covered to prevent attracting vermin (such as mice or rats). As we know. nitrogen. In natural gas.UEME4243 Engineer in Society Page 2 . They always just make assumption that 98% or more would be the efficiency. Besides. toluene.1 trichloroethane. it is basically a greenhouse gases and it is explosive. NMOCs usually make up less than 1% of the landfill gas which normally they are toxic chemicals like benzene. attraction of vermin. From the investigation on the NMOCs contaminants. it is mostly about 40% to 60%is covered with methane with the remainder are mostly carbon dioxide. oxygen. Inorganic contaminants like mercury are also present in the landfill gas and sometimes. mining voids or borrow pit. When the waste materials exposed to the air surrounding plus the microorganism that helps to break down or decay the waste materials. water vapour. more exhaustive test for contaminants in landfill gas has found hundreds of different NMOC contaminants. Deposited waste is normally compacted to increase its density and stability. no comment on what happen to the halogens such as chlorine.1. carbon tetrachloride. it could me hygienic and relatively a low cost method to deal with the trash or waste materials. Besides. oxygen.

KBE is expected to conclude a concession agreement with the Malaysian Government in 2008 to operate and maintain this landfill for the next 30 years. The Malaysia government always put their subsidies on the fossil fuels since Malaysia is one of the biggest petroleum suppliers in the Asia countries. the Executive Board also approved other landfill gas recovery methodology for projects in Brazil. Besides.What actually CDM provide in Malaysia? This CDM actually is a body that is straightly arrange under the Kyoto Protocol that allow industrialized countries that produce greenhouse gas (or called Annex1 countries) to effectively reduce their exhaustion of greenhouse gas in the developing countries as an alternative to more expensive emission reduction in their own countries. Most of the investor in Malaysia is conservative and resistance to change as this are seed in their business culture. In the past few years. but still there are no successful stories that happen in Malaysia to convince the local to invest in this industries. the lengthy application process and licensing conditions also created a barrier to the investor to these projects. It is because to start of this landfill gas industries. The most important is no direct usage of energy. So the EU parliament has assigned a measure that allows companies in the EU to achieve the required emission reduction through the purchase of carbon credits from projects in the developing world. over 15. As this technology is consider a new technology although there are some of the countries like Canada had started this as earlier as 1960an. So.000 sources are under a legal obligation to reduce their GHG emissions between 2005-2007. A final factor we will mention is that the EU (European Union) and some individual countries have moved ahead with their own mandatory trading schemes independent of the Kyoto Protocol. Moreover. India. there are no sides that taking initiatives to these projects since there are no legal requirement on this. Most of the Malaysia Company had lack of technological know-how and supplier locally. What causes Malaysia not to mass contribute or invests in this industry? In other countries such as the developing countries. Under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS). Costa Rica. low electricity tariffs and high capital investments and also most RE technology are imported today. This CDM is supervised by the CDM Executive Board (CDM EB) and is under the guidance of the Conference of the Parties (COP/MOP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Lacking of clear policy. they have the potential to establish themselves as prime Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman – Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (Hons) . Besides. In the developing countries. a high technology is needed. the Executive Board of the CDM had approved a Consolidated Methodology for landfill gas CDM projects and essentially all of the landfill gas recovery projects since then have adapted to the methodology provided. Still there is some of the criterion that is stated in the agreement that restricted the available of the project of CDB take action in Malaysia. there are also some investment barriers in this CDM projects. Besides that. this had causes a project viability barriers. not all the people will knew that the smelly gas produce at the landfill can eventually produce or generate electricity. the Executive Board has approved a number of different methodologies for calculating the baseline scenario and establishing additionality in landfill gas CDM (Clean Development Mechanism) projects. In Malaysia. Mukim Sg. Hulu Selangor District in the State of Selangor. The last reason that causes less company invest in this renewable energy program is that lack of awareness. By the year 2009. The methane gas that already been extracted must undergo some combustion or other process before it could completely changes to other form of energy which had contribute to the complexity of this projects. etc and causes a project financing problem. regulation and direction for the government also becoming one of the barrier to this project since there are no law no protect them and no regulation that stated that this project is legal or illegal. Recently CDM had approved a project that is located at the Bukit Tagar. Malaysia and Vietnam. this increases the chances that the project will gain approval by the Executive Board.UEME4243 Engineer in Society Page 3 . Tinggi. this project needed high budget and equity that most of the company had insufficient equity and hard to obtain loans. we less saw this kind of technologies had implement although it is a low cost energy producer. If a project had been follows all the methodology that been approved by the Executive Board. Due to the economics of scale. for example heat. For example. there is also lack of effective financial incentives to let the investor contribute to these industries.

Some of the campaign had successfully taught our citizen about the important of recycle and this had injected into each of the mind of the students nowadays. Alternative to reduce the Amount of Landfills Although with the help from the CDM. timber and even a big submarines also could be recycle.destination for investment by EU companies in CDM projects generally and landfill gas recovery projects in particular. air pollution(from incineration) and water pollution(from landfills) by reducing the need for waste disposal and lower greenhouse gas emission in the producing or virgin material production. we could reduce the greenhouse gases reduction. and Taiwan. energy usage. ferrous metals. Thailand. As most of the time. most of the investors would not invest in the field that they have not confidence in it especially in the critical years of 2008 – 2012. Vietnam. this causes investors to react conservatively and has certainly which had kept the price for post 2012 CERs (Certified Emission Reductions) very low. The aim of recycling also the same from the Kyoto protocol that is reducing the production of greenhouse gases into the environment through the project and the advance technology they have. The pay as you throw activities had implement in North America. This recycling process could be more successful if the government had provided the recycling dustbin in the range of 1 per 100 household and send up some staff from the municipal council to collect it 3 times per week. It involve the process of using the used materials into the new product that prevent the wastage of the potentially useful material. the window of opportunity is relatively small but there is a real potential behind this landfill gas projects especially in the developing countries in that time frame. and reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials. China. Although they know about this. With the recycling process. The second commitment period under the EU-ETS overlaps with Kyoto from 2008 . what we can see at the recycling recycle bin is that the bin is full of the rubbish without classified it according to the materials that being stated to the each color of the recycle bin. This is the raw material that used to produce some daily product that we encounter with it many times in one day.UEME4243 Engineer in Society Page 4 . Most of the time. But with this activities also will results in illegal dumping (fly-tipping) or the waste being passed to unlicensed or illegal disposal methods when the charging of waste by the municipal service. At the moment. It is a usage-pricing model for disposing of the municipal solid waste. batteries. Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman – Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (Hons) . non-ferrous metals. electronics disassembly and reclamation.2012. but it is still not enough because it is still not completely denied the entry of those gases in the environment. This is most because of the cost of building research and develop technology is cheaper compare to other countries such as US and fully develop countries. Another alternative is by recycling. textiles. paint. but there is less initiatives for them to do so because lack of the helps or the people who really recycling. In other words. Users are charged at a rate where it is depends on how much waste they present for collection to the municipality or local authority. the Protocol calls for emission reduction from 2008 – 2012. These are the common thing that we know about the recycling materials but other materials such as aggregates and concretes. This had given the fact that it takes several years to develop this kind of projects to the point that it is registered and ready to start delivering emission reduction. this large recycling campaign only take place in the town without including the citizen that is stayed in the outskirt. This is an alternative to reduce the wastage from the household and this campaign could be run simultaneously with the recycling process that will pay up some funds to the person which go recycle. biodegradable waste. glass and also aluminium. The first commitment period under the EU-ETS is 2005-2007. we also could introduce some other ways to reduce the ways like pay as you throw (PAYTY) campaign. clothing. they are some normal thing to recycle such as plastic. So most of the time these people just kept ignored by the government and this causes the disconnection of information between them. Europe and some Asia countries like Korea. Besides. As the status after 2012 is remain unknown.

It is recognized renewable resource for example by the Green-e certification program for green power products [www. landfill gas is a reliable. businesses. methane as greenhouse gas is over 20 times more potent by weight than carbon dioxide. As we had quite clear that the methane is build up 50% of the landfill gas. Although a landfill is not place you would expect to find a source of clean energy. this landfill projects had help to destroy methane that had been a potent heat-trapping gas and offset the use of non-renewable resources such as coal. Landfill gas or so call LFG had potential in the market as it had eventually reused the energy that landfill produce. Anything that needed to combust to gain energy from would eventually causes pollution to the environment. Moreover. and industry. Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman – Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (Hons) . It also serves as “base load renewable” for many green power programs by providing availability exceeding 90%. more than 33 states accept landfill gas energy in their renewable portfolio standards or goals.epa. we may not have the sufficient technology to start off with a projects.green-e. the methane gas had just been flare it away and not using it wisely to produce something that fulfil the human colonies necessities. Landfill gas energy projects have been around since the late 1970s. Moreover in the landfill gas there are many toxic contaminants that need to be get rids of where most of the option that provided less filters it out before processing the landfill gas. We need their technology to continue in developing our countries and research is requiring gaining knowledge about something we don’t know. But most of this is just reduce the waste and the greenhouse gases that emitted to the environment. Joined venture for the advance technology is a good deal between Malaysia with the other industrialized company since we are still in the developing. They have their own advantage and disadvantage in both side and seem to have their own characteristics. It also helps reduce local air pollution and eventually creates tremendous number of jobs opportunities that will reduce the deflation rate of a country. renewable energy that improves the environment. the argument for landfill gas technology considered as a green and renewable energy is still going on without any. providing renewable energy in the form of electricity and alternative fuel to citizens.gov/greenpower]. As this increment is because of the landfills that contribute to this increase in the methane composition in the atmosphere. They are more abundant in the atmosphere now than any time in the past 100 thousand years and 150% higher than in the year 1750. Join forces for both private sector and the government are strongly suggested as this will reduce the gap between the technologies acquire and move towards a better world. EPA’s Green Power Partnership [www. landfill gas project had gain more than 50 green pricing program include LFG and in United State. But thinking in another way. Evolvement of landfill gas as a fuel or resource to generate electricity had eventually reduce the wastage of methane gas produce by landfill as in a history. natural oil and gas.org].Conclusion In a nut shell. We still need some other advance technology to continue reduce the greenhouse gases to prevent global warming to continue. if it is remain uncollected. it might contribute to global warming.UEME4243 Engineer in Society Page 5 . but according to research.Besides that. generate revenues and cost saving energy. Landfill could be obtain anywhere as long as there is a community that live at whereas the wind turbine can only build at the place which have a high altitude and higher rate of wind flow.

6.gov/cneaf/solar." RACHEL's Environment & Health Weekly #617. request publication PB98-142144. 11. 06 10). New York State. Note 5 supra." EPA document #600SR95089. 1998).Background Information for Proposed Standards and Guidelines" Document # is EPA/450/3-90/011A. March 1991.elyenergy.html#TECH 21. as well as many other compounds which lead to the formation of hazardous air pollutants.03. January 1992.http://www.press. 1955 Workman Mill Rd.energyjustice.epa.org/bulletin/index. Documentation on this can be found on the web at http://www." Chapter 10 of the "Renewable Energy Annual 1996" report by the U. July 1995.net/naturalgas/ 3." State of New York Department of Health.." County Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County." EPA/600/P-98/002Aa. "Investigation of Cancer Incidence and Residence Near 38 Landfills With Soil Gas Migration Conditions. Available from the National Technical Information Service in Springfield.org/sludge/ 20. 15.com/epa/exposure/ Dioxins are formed from around 200oC (392oF) to 400oC (752oF). 1980-1989. 19. "Air Emissions from Municipal Solid Waste Landfills.html 5. The 1994 EPA Dioxin Reassessment.cfm?issue_ID=1149 12. January 12. Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration.epa. September 24.cqs. Note 3 supra. B. Kammerer. For background on sewage sludge.ejnet.htmContaminants in natural gas include organometallic compounds such as those containing lead and mercury. Even the Natural Lawn Company.UEME4243 Engineer in Society Page 6 .rachel. Ibid. Retrieved 3 4." EPA #600SR92007.html#TECH 4. "The Inventory of Sources of Dioxin in the United States. See EPA's Greenhouse Gas Inventory 23. 13.-D.eia. Virginia [800-553-6847].annual/chap10. (Atlanta. Ga: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. 16. visithttp://www.Bibliography 1.S. Available online athttp://www. December 1995.com/pressclub/p/pcgl/pressDetail. 544 pages. Frank R. "Methodologies for Quantifying Pollution Prevention Benefits from Landfill Gas Control and Utilization.epa. Sewage sludges contain a stew of toxic chemicals which aren't filtered out before being sold as fertilizer." Ely Energy http://www. G. 18.gov/ttn/atw/landfill/landflpg. Background Information for Final Standards and Guidelines. Note 5 supra. 17.com/tdngtypchemcomp. "Dioxin and Furan Emissions from Landfill Gas-Fired Combustion Units. Estimating Exposure to Dioxin-Like Compounds. uses sewage sludges in their products which they spray on their customer's lawns. All of these issues have been raised by the Alliance for a Clean Environment (ACE). Conversation with Bill Wisbrock of Alcohol Solutions. Chapter 3 http://www.'s Pottstown.html? outputChannelId=6&id=T0022800EN&left_menu_item=node__2207 2. including some halogenated compounds. (2009. 9. "Landfills are Dangerous. CA 90607. Whittier. Ed Wheless & David Frediani.Invests another $12 million to expand capacity: https://www. 311 pages. Note 7 supra. 1999.gov/ttn/atw/landfill/landflpg. Caponi. 1998. Note 5 supra. 98-RP105A. 14.renewables/renewable. 10. Volume 2. April 1998. 2010. "Demonstration of Fuel Cells to Recover Energy from Landfill Gas: Phase I Final Report: Conceptual Study.http://www. "Air Emissions from Municipal Solid Waste Landfills . 8. Natural gas lines have also been known to be contaminated with PCBs. from BMW MANUFACTURING EXPANDS METHANE GAS PROGRAM . See their website at: http://www. which markets environmentally-benign lawn care. June.bmwgroup. "Growth of the Landfill Gas Industry. "Technical Data for Natural Gas. Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman – Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (Hons) . BMW Group PressClub Global.energy.gov/methane/ 22.http://www. PA landfill to an Occidental Petroleum vinyl chloride facility on the other side of town." Document # is EPA-453/R-94-021. 7.doe. ACE worked for several years to successfully stop plans for building a 5 mile pipeline to pipe the toxic landfill gas fromWaste Management Inc.

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