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Landfill Methane

The other day I posted about how the methane produced by landfills was much worse for the environment than CO2 was. I still think we'd be better off if more people had a compost bin in their yard but I also came across this video and learned about another alternative.

In this CNN Video they show how SC Johnson is using landfill methane to generate enough power for half the energy needs of it's largest US plant. Here's how it works. Trash decomposes underground and turns to methane, the methane gets collected, treated and then used in their co-generation system. This process is creating over 500 KWs of power.

So you see, even though methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas it still has some good uses. Landfill sequested methane would be a great way to prevent greenhouse emissions and get some energy out of it in the deal. I'm still in favor of keeping most of our household waste out of the landfill by composting but there's already a lot of dumps out there. So we might as well put them to good use.

If you have trouble viewing the embedded video, then click here to view it on the CNN Money site.


  1. Ed Bruske said...
    Some large dairy farmers do the same thing: sequester manure to produce methane that powers the farm.
    Anthony said...
    Yes and I remember in one of the Mad Max movies they used pigs to produce methane for all of Barter Town. Who knew at the time that Mad Max was actually a "green" movie? :)
    Valerie said...
    The Rutgers EcoComplex in Columbus, NJ, uses the methane produced from the nearby Burlington County Resource Recovery Site (landfill) to run its nearby greenhouse. http://ecocomplex.rutgers.edu/research_facilities.php Pretty cool stuff.
    Anthony said...
    Thanks for the link Valerie. I agree that it is cool stuff.

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