According to the landfill design and its management, as well as waste composition, compaction, moisture and several other factors, landfill gas can be generated from the decomposition of organic substances in municipal solid waste. Landfill gas normally carries 35%-55% methane content and can be utilized as a high quality fuel to drive gas reciprocating engines for power generation. Based on the estimation that 1 million tons of municipal solid waste can generate about 60 to 90 million square feet (1.7 to 2.5 million m3) of collectable methane, it is enough to support a gas engine capacity of 850 to 1,250 kW producing 6,500 to 10,000 MWh electricity per year. That roughly corresponds to the average power demand of 1,500 to 2,200 EU households which indicates a great value to collect landfill gas as one of the renewable energy resources.
The benefits and advantages
- Electrical efficiency of more than 40%, and up to more than 80% efficiency in the case of combined heat and power
- Alternative disposal of a problem gas while simultaneously harnessing it as an energy source
- Revenues for power (and heat) production, when fed into the public grid
- Carbon credits for reduction of GHG (Green House Gas) releases or special FiT (Feed in Tariff) supported by government.