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Food Company Joins Forces with Landfill for Power
Memphis, TN— Air quality will improve and fossil-fuel demand will decrease in Shelby County this fall, thanks to a new partnership among Solae L.L.C.; BFI Waste Systems of North America; Memphis Light, Gas and Water (MLGW); and CPL Systems, Inc. These organizations are creating a system to collect and use gas generated from decomposing municipal solid waste at BFI’s South Shelby Landfill. The gas will be transported via pipeline to the Solae company-owned plant, where it will reduce the plant’s fossil-fuel usage by nearly 25-30 percent.
Known as a landfill gas usage project, the venture is expected to reduce the plant’s greenhouse gas emissions in Shelby County while also reducing its ground-level ozone emissions by 20 percent.
Landfill gas is generated when organic waste in a municipal solid-waste landfill decomposes. The gas consists of about 50 percent carbon dioxide and 50 percent methane, which is the primary component of natural gas. Instead of burning off the landfill gas in a flare at the BFI site, the gas that is collected can be used to generate electricity, heat or steam, thereby reducing reliance on fossil fuels such as coal, oil or natural gas. In fact, according to the EPA, landfill gas is the only renewable energy source that, when used, directly prevents atmospheric pollution.
One of the largest landfill gas-to-energy projects operating in America’s 2,200 active landfills, this project will require significant investments by The Solae Company and BFI. The Solae Company is investing several million dollars to redesign portions of its Memphis plant in order to efficiently use the landfill gas. BFI plans to invest additional resources in its South Shelby Landfill site to increase its gas recovery capabilities.
CPL Systems, Inc., based in Lafayette, Louisiana will design, construct and operate the equipment so the landfill gas can be used as a renewable fuel source. “CPL Systems provides optimal approaches for capturing and using landfill gas. We do this by modifying The Solae Company’s facility to fully use the gas without disrupting operating performance, reliability or safety,” said Luke Conner, president of CPL Systems.