Natural gas from Milam Landfill will be injected into pipelines for use in CNG vehicles.
Waste Management (WM), headquartered in Houston, has announced plans to build a facility that will create pipeline-ready natural gas from its Milam Landfill in Fairmont City, Ill. A ceremony at the landfill, Oct. 17, 2013, brought together state, county and local officials to celebrate the groundbreaking.
|From left to right: Paul Pabor, vice president of renewable energy, Waste Management Inc.; David Baker, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity; Lisa Bonnett, director, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency; Victoria Holt, board member, Waste Management Inc.; Richard Mark, president, Ameren Illinois; Illinois State Representative Jay Hoffman; Scott Penny, administrator, Village of Fairmont City; and Joe Durako, senior district manager, Waste Management - Milam RDF
The processed renewable natural gas will be injected into the pipelines of Ameren Illinois for withdrawal at other locations, including some WM facilities. Once there, it will be used to fuel truck fleets and other equipment that run on compressed natural gas (CNG). WM is calling the plant the Renewable Natural Gas Facility and expects it to begin delivering gas to the pipelines in late summer 2014.
“Ameren Illinois applauds Waste Management for deploying an innovative technology to fuel their fleet," said Richard Mark, president and CEO of Ameren Illinois. "This is a first-of-its-kind collaboration for Ameren Illinois to facilitate the transportation of clean, renewable natural gas through our pipelines to the U.S. gas distribution grid."
Landfill gas is produced as waste naturally decomposes inside a landfill. Once captured, the gas is filtered and compressed and can be used to fuel an engine or a turbine to generate electricity. Landfill gas at the new Renewable Natural Gas Facility will be further processed to produce pipeline-quality natural gas.
“This type of project represents an important alternative source of renewable energy that we provide straight from our landfills,” said Paul Pabor, vice president of renewable energy for Waste Management. “While we are well known as a waste and recycling company, we’re also an energy company.”
At the landfill, on-site emissions will be reduced by the facility. Since the gas will be treated, rather than burned, onsite, Waste Management anticipates about a 60 percent reduction in emissions of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter.
“This project is not only the first of its kind in Illinois, but will be a model for environmental sustainability by reducing vehicle emissions, greenhouse gases and creating a renewable source of fuel. As a major Illinois employer and service provider, Waste Management is demonstrating that good environmental practices are also good business,” said Lisa Bonnett, director of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.
The facility will be designed to process about 3,500 standard cubic feet per minute (SCFM) of incoming landfill gas, which represents more than ten percent of the natural gas that is used in the company’s entire existing CNG fleet, the company says. Waste Management of Illinois currently has more than 100 CNG trucks in its fleet displacing about one million gallons per year of diesel fuel.
The Milam Renewable Natural Gas Facility will be the company’s third plant to convert landfill gas to natural gas.
Pabor said that there are now 134 projects on Waste Management landfills that use landfill gas to generate electricity, produce renewable gas or displace fossil fuel. “We also have partnered with four cities and counties to install landfill-gas-to-energy plants on public landfills,” he said. “Altogether, these projects put enough landfill gas to work to produce the equivalent of more than 680 megawatts of power capacity, enough to power almost half a million homes, and displace the equivalent of more than 2.5 million tons of coal per year.”