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Optimal landfill gas utilization for renewable energy production

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Abstract

Landfill gas (LFG) is essentially greenhouse gas (GHG) composed predominantly of methane and carbon dioxide produced from the anaerobic biodegradation of municipal solid waste in landfills. The amount of gas produced can be estimated using the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change methodology. Most sanitary landfills flare this potential renewable energy source, which is an unfortunate waste of a valuable resource. This study develops an optimization model for effective LFG utilization as a sustainable energy source based on economic and environmental considerations. The mixed integer linear programming model developed was applied to Seelong Sanitary Landfill, Malaysia, and led to profits 7.6 times higher than those currently gained. This enormous increase is due to the incorporation of renewable energy production in the new plan. In addition, the combined heat and power generation proposed is 2420 tons of oil equivalents, which is 0.0035% of the total energy production of Malaysia. Similarly, the LFG utilization leads to a national GHG reduction of 0.007%. Implementing this at the 14 sanitary landfills in the country will go a long way towards broadening the energy base while simultaneously reducing the carbon footprint of the nation. © 2014 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Environ Prog, 34: 289–296, 2015

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