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Landfill Methane Outreach Program

Project Profile

SWACO Green Energy Center

LMOP Award Winner
Location:
Grove City, Ohio
End User(s):
Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO)
Sector(s):
Municipal
Landfill(s):
Franklin County Sanitary Landfill
Landfill Size:
9.2 million tons waste-in-place (2005)
Project Type:
Microturbine and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)
Project Size:
0.25 megawatts (MW) and 300 standard cubic feet per minute (scfm)
Environmental Benefits:
Carbon sequestered annually by 1,400 acres of pine or fir forests, annual greenhouse gas emissions from 1,200 passenger vehicles, or carbon dioxide emissions from 15,100 barrels of oil consumed. Annual energy savings equate to powering 150 homes and heating 1,020 homes. Estimated emissions reductions of 0.0018 million metric tons of carbon equivalents.
LMOP Partners Involved:
Acrion Technologies, Inc., Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc., FirmGreen, Inc., Ingersoll-Rand Company
Last Updated:
7/20/2010

Photo of Green Energy Center’s gas treatment facility and fueling stations.

In September 2008, the results of a successful public-private partnership came to life. The Green Energy Center (GEC) converts landfill gas (LFG) to electricity for on-site use and compressed natural gas (CNG) for vehicles. According to SWACO, the center will produce enough CNG annually to replace nearly 250,000 gallons of gasoline, plus enough LFG to generate the electricity required for its own operation. The project's partnership and use of technology earned it recognition as a 2008 LMOP Project of the Year.

An on-site fueling station pumps CNG, which originally fueled a SWACO car and pickup truck. SWACO has since expanded the system to also fuel a recycling truck, additional cars and pickup trucks, and a riding lawnmower. SWACO is working with local governments, school districts, and private companies that are interested in adding CNG vehicles to their fleets. Already, the city of Columbus has purchased a dedicated CNG refuse vehicle and three bi-fuel pickups and the Franklin County School District will purchase a CNG school bus.

The GEC uses a proprietary technology, CO2Wash´┐Ż, to remove hydrogen sulfides, VOCs, and siloxanes out of raw LFG. Carbon dioxide, recovered from the LFG and converted to liquid form, is used to wash out the impurities. The GEC processes 300 scfm of LFG into ultra-pure medium Btu methane that powers a 250-kilowatt (kW) microturbine to generate electricity for the facility and high Btu methane for use as vehicle fuel.

The project's highlights include the following:

  • Generates enough electricity to power the energy center
  • Demonstrates that smaller landfill operations have a viable LFG utilization option
  • Produces food-grade carbon dioxide, an additional saleable commodity that could be used in the beverage industry, the production of dry ice, or in greenhouses

The project is a successful public-private partnership between SWACO and FirmGreen. FirmGreen plans to build a second, larger LFG processing facility nearby that will produce high Btu gas for pipeline injection and CNG for transportation fuel.

What once was an idea is now fuel to power America's future. What was once waste is now energy to drive our economy. What once was considered the end of the line is now a starting point for economic development. Many times the answers to our problems are right in front of us, we just have to take a closer look. —Ron Mills, SWACO Executive Director

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