August 15, 2004 | General


BioCycle August 2004, Vol. 45, No. 8, p. 65
Partners in methane recovery collection/conversion program include landfill owner, local utility, system provider and food plant.

A COOPERATIVE project that involves a food and beverage company in Memphis, Tennessee; a major waste management firm; the regional energy utility; and a Louisiana technology business specializing in emissions reduction projects are showing what it takes to create a system to collect and utilize gas generated from decomposing MSW at the landfill. In this case, the methane will be transported from the BFI South Shelby Landfill via pipeline constructed by Memphis Light, Gas and Water – using innovative technology from CPL Systems, Inc. to The Solae Company plant that serves food and beverage manufacturers, dietary supplement developers and a variety of commercial and industrial customers. The gas will reduce the Solae plant’s fossil-fuel usage by nearly 25 to 30 percent, while cutting ground-level ozone emissions by 20 percent.
According to analysts, landfill gas consists of about 50 percent carbon dioxide and 50 percent methane. Instead of burning off the landfill gas in a flare at the BFI site, the gas will be used to generate electricity, heat or steam. Explains Robert Schmalz, senior director of sourcing for The Solae Company: “This project which increases our use of renewable energy resources is particularly meaningful as it demonstrates how important community benefits can be achieved through cooperation and investment among companies, utility providers and government organizations.” The Solae Company reports that it is investing several million dollars to redesign portions of its Memphis plant to efficiently use the landfill gas – eventually saving according to the company more dollars in fuel costs. Keith Shelby – manager of BFI’s Mississippi Valley District facility – BFI has also committed the investment necessary to increase gas recovery capabilities at the 474-acre landfill.
Based in Lafayette, Louisiana, CPL Systems will design, construct and operate the equipment that converts landfill gas into fuel source. CPL Systems is an industry partner in the EPA Landfill Methane Outreach Program.
The Solae Company – formed through an alliance between Bunge Limited and DuPont – has operated the Memphis plant since 1973. Its global market focuses on plant-based, specialty food ingredients, that initially addressed soy protein and lecithin, and then expanded into other products and services.
Adds Chris Bieber, vice president of engineering for Memphis Light, Gas and Water (MLGW) which is building the pipeline that will transport gas to the Solae plant: “MLGW is delighted to be part of this project. Replacing natural gas with landfill gas makes a lot of sense because it substitutes a finite resource for a renewable resource – all the while reducing emissions and benefitting everyone in the greater Memphis area.”
The BioCycle Fourth Annual Conference on RENEWABLE ENERGY FROM ORGANICS RECYCLING to be held November 8-10, 2004 in Des Moines, Iowa will discuss in detail latest developments of using biogas at landfills – analyzing economic benefits, emissions reductions, as well as quantities to be generated. For registration details and preliminary program, see pages 16 and 17 of this issue.

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