09 February 2011
Posted in Center Information
With 54% of the generated municipal solid waste (MSW) landfilled in 2008, landfilling seems to be remaining the dominant solution to MSW management in the near future in the United States. As a major source of anthropogenic methane emissions, it is necessary to be able to estimate landfill gas (LFG) generation. Accurate estimates of LFG generation could help in having a better estimate of the LFG collection efficiency and the uncollected LFG, which is either oxidized in the landfill cover or emitted to the atmosphere. However, limited data resources on landfilling operations and the nature of using empirical models for site conditions, result in uncertainties in the estimates. One objective of this study was to evaluate the best approach in
using the widely applied first-order model, as well as quantifying the uncertainty of the outcomes.
Modeling LFG generation and collection potential is necessary for regulators, policymakers, and landfill owners, not only for the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission issue, but also for the energy value of LFG. Considering LFG as a source of renewable energy in most state-established renewable portfolio standards (RPSs) has resulted in a significant increase in the number of LFG to energy (LFGTE) projects in the US in recent years. While energy potential estimates could facilitate decision making for investors in LFGTE projects on a small-scale, large-scale longterm LFGTE potential estimates are necessary for regulators and policymakers, especially with the current debates on federal renewable energy portfolio policies. However, policies and regulation should be set such to consider the economic feasibility of LFGTE projects.