Turning garbage into gold isn’t going to happen anytime soon, but perhaps all that waste doesn’t need to go…waste. Landfill gas, which comes from the natural decomposition of organic waste, can be purified and liquefied into clean fuel.
A new joint venture between North America’s largest waste management company, Waste Management, and Linde, a leading gases and engineering company, is hoping to “close the loop” by producing fuel from garbage and using it to power garbage trucks. The companies will construct a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility at the Altamont Landfill near Livermore in California that (when it begins operation next year) could produce up to 13,000 gallons a day of LNG.
That gas will be used for vehicle fueling the collection trucks. Natural gas is already the cleanest burning fuel available for Waste Management trucks. Additionally, collecting methane for burning has an overall positive effect on global warming, because methane is a much more powerfull greenhouse gas than CO2.
Linde North America estimates that capturing and reusing landfill gas could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 30,000 tonnes per year.The LNG produced from the Altamont landfill gas will be a virtually zero-carbon transportation fuel and eventually lead to more facilities that can produce more than 200 million gallons of clean transportation each year from the garbage in California’s landfills.
There’s a lot of garbage out there and any way it can be re-used instead of just letting it rot away in landfills is a great thing. Waste is a terrible thing to waste.
Source: Linde and Waste Management