Landfill Methane Outreach Program
Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.
Seward County and National Beef Landfill Gas Energy Project
- Liberal, Kansas
- End User(s):
- National Beef Packing Company
- Food products
- Seward County Landfill
- Landfill Size:
- 1.5 million tons waste-in-place (2007)
- Project Type:
- Project Size:
- 70 standard cubic feet per minute (scfm)
- Environmental Benefits:
- Carbon sequestered annually by 1,800 acres of pine or fir forests, annual greenhouse gas emissions from 1,600 passenger vehicles, or carbon dioxide emissions from 19,100 barrels of oil consumed. Annual energy savings equate to heating 240 homes. Estimated emissions reductions of 0.0022 million metric tons of carbon equivalents.
- LMOP Partners Involved:
- EA Engineering, Science and Technology, Inc., Seward County
- Last Updated:
Mixing methane turned out to be a great idea in Seward County, Kansas, where beef, belt buckles, and good old-fashioned persistence are the norm. After early options proved unviable, Seward County explored selling landfill gas (LFG) to a large energy user next door—National Beef. Talks resulted in a unique LFG energy project in which LFG is piped to wastewater lagoons, collected, and burned to produce energy. Seward County's persistence and creativity earned them recognition as LMOP's 2008 Community Partner of the Year.
The LFG energy project was a win-win solution for Seward County and National Beef. The packing plant had over 25 acres of open-air lagoons to treat 2.1 million gallons of wastewater per day. The opportunity to reduce odor and capture methane from both the landfill and the lagoons culminated in a project to cover the lagoons with a floating high-density polyethylene (HDPE) cover.
Seventy (70) scfm of LFG travels 1,500 feet from the landfill to a lagoon, where the piping penetrates the HDPE cover system. The combined gas from the lagoon and the landfill is recovered to fuel boilers at National Beef.
The Seward County Landfill project's highlights include the following:
- Revenue to the landfill is expected to keep disposal costs low, benefiting 55,000 users in the region
- Energy savings benefit National Beef and its 2,500 employees
- Odor control by National Beef and the landfill benefits the community
- Conversion of LFG to energy benefits the environment
Seward County and National Beef cooperatively financed the project. The County paid construction costs at the landfill and National Beef will pay for the LFG once the company recovers its capital cost expenditures in energy savings. Payments are based on volume and quality of LFG piped to National Beef.
For a landfill that recorded receiving 210 tons per day, and operates in an arid part of the state averaging less than 15 inches per year of precipitation, most may have deemed passive vents more than adequate. Not so for [the Seward County] landfill director. —Sam Sunderraj, State of Kansas LMOP Coordinator