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Landfill Gas - Essay Example

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Summary
Landfill gas [LFG] is a mixture of gases liberated from the decomposition of organic materials from solid wastes in municipal landfills (Environment Protection Agency [EPA], 2011). Methane and carbon dioxide are the major components of LFG, although there are also other gases…
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Landfill Gas
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The Use of Landfill Gas Your Full The Use of Landfill Gas Landfill gas [LFG] is a mixture of gases liberated from the decomposition of organic materials from solid wastes in municipal landfills (Environment Protection Agency [EPA], 2011). Methane and carbon dioxide are the major components of LFG, although there are also other gases present such as nitrogen, ammonia, sulfides and carbon monoxide (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry [ASTDR], 2001). Being a hazardous gas, different studies have been conducted to be able to recycle methane in landfills and convert it to energy. This paper focuses on the most productive use of landfill gas, which is electricity generation.
Methane from Landfills to Electricity
One hazard of the production of LFG, particularly methane, is the possibility of the occurrence of gas explosion in areas where there is high concentration (ASTDR, 2001). With this kind of hazard and possible health risks of those exposed to LFG, methane has been considered to be captured and recycled for more beneficial purposes (EPA, 2014). One of the most productive uses of methane is its collection in landfills and processed to be converted to energy, like what is done in some areas of California. Removal of water from LFG makes it allowable for use in reciprocating engines. Further clean-up processes make it usable in manufacturing industries and gas turbines. Gas recovery facilities in California have produced approximately 246 megawatts of electricity since 1995. This amount of electricity came from the recycling of LFG, mostly methane (California Energy Commission, n.d.).
Conclusion
Landfill gases have initially posed harm to humans and the environment, but with the continuous study of the processes involved in the production of landfill gases, the government has taken part in promoting its collection. The recycling of methane from landfills is the most productive because it has provided a source of renewable electricity. Through this processes and collection facilities, lower emissions of methane can escape into the atmosphere. The benefit that humans get from methane through conversion to electricity also benefits the environment by minimizing the greenhouse gas that causes global warming.
References
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry [ASTDR]. (Nov 2001). “Landfill Gas Primer
– An Overview for Environmental Health Professionals”. Retrieved from http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/HAC/landfill/html/intro.html.
California Energy Commission. (n.d.). “Landfill Gas Power Plants”. Retrieved from
http://www.energy.ca.gov/biomass/landfill_gas.html
Environmental Protection Agency [EPA]. (6 Apr 2011). “Landfill Methane Outreach Program:
Landfill Gas”. Retrieved from http://www.epa.gov/lmop/faq/landfill-gas.html.
Environmental Protection Agency [EPA]. (22 Jan 2014). “Landfill Methane Outreach Program”.
Retrieved from http://www.epa.gov/lmop/ Read More
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