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Landfill Methane Outreach Program

Project Profile

Iris Glen Landfill Gas Energy Project

LMOP Award Winner
Location:
Johnson City, Tennessee
End User(s):
James A. Quillen Veteran's Hospital, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City
Sector(s):
Hospital, University, Municipal
Landfill(s):
Iris Glen Landfill
Landfill Size:
3.5 million tons waste-in-place (2005)
Project Type:
Boiler and Reciprocating Engine
Project Size:
1,500 standard cubic feet per minute (scfm)
Savings:
Thousands of dollars in heating the hospital, plus $500,000 in revenue to city
Environmental Benefits:
Carbon sequestered annually by 4,000 acres of pine or fir forests, annual greenhouse gas emissions from 3,600 passenger vehicles, or carbon dioxide emissions from 43,500 barrels of oil consumed. Annual energy savings equate to heating 5,100 homes. Estimated emissions reductions of 0.0051 million metric tons of carbon equivalents.
LMOP Partners Involved:
Air Liquid-MEDAL, Carolan Associates LLC, Energy Systems Group, Rath, Young and Pignatelli, P.A., SulfaTreat, Waste Management, Inc.
Last Updated:
7/7/2010

Photo of sign at entrance to Iris Glen Environmental Center.

Natural gas quality landfill gas (LFG) energy projects are usually limited to landfills with large amounts of gas, but not in Johnson City, Tennessee. There, a relatively low LFG flow has turned into an award-winning pipeline quality LFG energy project. A public-private partnership utilized technology that proved to be a viable alternative to a regular electricity or high Btu project. The project's innovation, extensive outreach, and success earned it recognition as a 2007 LMOP Project of the Year.

The project supplies nearly high Btu LFG to the Mountain Home Energy Center (MHEC). Because the gas is of such high quality, no burner modifications were required, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in retrofit costs. By burning LFG, the MHEC can supply 100,000 lb/hr of steam, 7.5 megawatts of power, and chilled water to a Veterans Administration hospital, several East Tennessee State University buildings, and a large civic center.

The project utilizes several technologies to produce a gas that is clean, dry, and free of siloxanes and volatile organic compounds:

  • SulfaTreat system removes hydrogen sulfide. A 40-foot shipping container was modified to house 100,000 lbs. of clean-up media.
  • Pressure Swing Absorption (PSA) unit operates on much lower pressure than traditional PSA systems.
  • Air Liquid-MEDAL's membrane separation system removes 98 percent of the carbon dioxide and approximately half of the remaining oxygen.

A 22,000 foot pipeline was constructed along a city right-of-way that passed through dense residential development. Johnson City launched a public awareness campaign including meetings, newspaper articles, and door hangers to keep citizens along the pipeline informed. Today, the city and Waste Management operate an educational center at the landfill. Storyboards show visitors how LFG is generated, collected, and processed into nearly high Btu gas for steam and power generation.

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