Waste Management debuts new renewable natural gas facility
Houston-based Waste Management Inc. (WM) announced in a Nov. 12 news release the opening of a renewable natural gas facility that will supply pipeline-ready natural gas from the gas produced at its Milam Landfill in Fairmont City, Ill.
The release said that by early December, the processed renewable natural gas will be injected into the Ameren Illinois pipeline for withdrawal at other locations, including some WM facilities. The natural gas will be used to heat homes or fuel trucks and other equipment that run on compressed natural gas (CNG).
The Milam Renewable Natural Gas Facility is designed to process approximately 3,500 standard cubic feet per minute (SCFM) of incoming landfill gas-as much gas as it takes to fuel about 200 of WM’s CNG collection trucks each day, according to the release. WM/Illinois currently has more than 100 CNG trucks in its fleet, which will now displace about one million gallons of diesel fuel per year.
“The Milam Renewable Natural Gas Facility is the first facility of its kind we’ve actually built from the ground up,” said Jim Trevathan, WM executive vice president and COO. “This innovative facility utilizes renewable landfill gas and purifies it to a high-quality natural gas that in turn feeds into the adjacent pipeline to fuel our growing fleet of CNG trucks. This truly maximizes available resources while creating a new and beneficial use.”
The news release noted that “Like wind and solar, landfill gas-which is produced as waste naturally decomposes inside a landfill-is a renewable source of energy endorsed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as an alternative to fossil fuels.”
Once captured, the gas is filtered and compressed and can be used to fuel an engine or a turbine to generate electricity. At the new Milam Renewable Natural Gas Facility, the landfill gas is further processed to produce pipeline-quality natural gas.
The $19 million Milam facility was partially funded by a $2.4 million grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and the Illinois Energy Office.
According to the news release, WM has 134 landfill projects using landfill gas to generate electricity, produce renewable gas, or displace fossil fuel. These projects produce the equivalent of more than 650 megawatts of power capacity, enough to power almost half a million homes, and displace the equivalent of about 2.5 million tons of coal per year.