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From Trash to Energy

Landfill Gas Utilization Delivers Environmental Benefits


Yesterday's Waste Becomes Today's Fuel

Expected Vehicle Fuel Production for a direct use application: One of FirmGreen's standard module 1200scfm biogas purification plants can produce enough clean burning alternative fuels to power more than 1800 passenger vehicles per year, assuming an average annual fuel consumption of 714 gallons. Fuel production figure is based on 330 days fuel production per annum, with downtime expected for routine scheduled maintenance. The fuel consumption figure above is based on an average annual mileage of 15,000 and average fuel economy of 21 miles/gallon.

Please note that the figures above and below assume that the biogas is processed for direct use as vehicle fuel rather than electrical generation. Using a portion of the cleaned methane for electrical generation will result in lower production figures for vehicle fuel, and will affect environmental benefits. The goals and needs of the facility or community where a project is sited, plus factors such as the cost per kWh and emissions from existing electrical power sources, guide the decision to either use all cleaned methane for vehicle fuel, or to use a portion for electrical generation (or heating).

FirmGreen offers biogas cleaning systems in standard module sizes from 500scfm - 2000scfm. The modular confguration of our system offers the flexibility of a scalable project, and FirmGreen's systems may be "dropped in" as an additional project to complement existing biogas utilization projects, maximizing profitability at sites where excess biogas exists.

Environmental Benefits

One standard configuration 1200scfm facility designed for direct use (i.e. vehicle fuel rather than for electrical production) can be expected to provide an annual environmental benefit to the host community equivalent to any one of the following:

  • Removing emissions equivalent to 26,016 vehicles
  • Carbon sequestered annually by 32,280 acres of forest
  • Removing emissions from 330,307 barrels of oil consumed
  • Removing emissions from 15.6 million gallons of gasoline consumed*
    * Data based on EPA studies and emissions factors

FirmGreen Meets Landfill Gas Utilization Challenges

Biogas is a natural product of the biological decomposition of organic waste. The resulting gas has a variety of chemical components, but at most municipal landfills and anaerobic digesters the two principal components are methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2), with much smaller amounts of nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen sulfides (H2S), and non-methane organic hydrocarbons (NMOCs).

While other biogas sources such as waste water treatment plants(WWTP) or livestock operations may have a predictable contaminant profile, a major problem with landfill gas (LFG) projects is the presence of variable trace components. Typical LFG contains heavy hydrocarbons (both aliphatic and aromatics such as benzene) as well as numerous chlorinated hydrocarbons. These trace compounds are, in some cases, toxic or hazardous and also cause rapid failure or engine and turbine components.

However, for biogas from WWTP the increasing presence of siloxanes – widely used in personal care products, has become a major issue for biogas utilization projects. This compound becomes silicon dioxide during combustion, a hard material that builds up inside engine components, and is a primary contributor to rapid engine failure.

FirmGreen's systems remove contaminants (including siloxanes) from biogas in a single process using liquid carbon dioxide obtained directly from the biogas. Facility owners benefit from reduced maintenance issues, system reliability, and lower operational costs.

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