I’ve always liked to look at things from several different angles and points of view. That’s why today, I want to dive into a topic that might not seem glamorous at first, but trust me, it’s a game-changer: turning landfills into energy production sites. Yes, you read that right. Landfills have the potential to become powerful hubs of renewable energy. So, let’s explore the possibilities together!
Did you know that landfills, those waste repositories of every waste that you can think of, are more than meets the eye? As many of you know, they have a not-so-pleasant reputation, because landfills generate a significant amount of gas containing CO2, and CH4, now considered greenhouse gases. But this is where the magic happens: we can leverage this untapped resource to produce clean, sustainable energy. Talk about turning trash into treasure!
” But how?”, I hear you wondering: Well, you start by covering the landfill and adding pipelines to collect the produced gases instead of allowing them to escape into the atmosphere. Then you can utilize the covered area by setting up green power production, harnessing the energy from wind or solar sources. It’s a simple yet effective way to generate renewable energy, especially when there’s a nearby power grid ready to receive our eco-friendly electricity.
But that’s not the end of the story. Oh no! We’re taking it up a notch by introducing an electrolyzer into the mix. From renewable energy, this nifty device helps us generate green hydrogen (H2), an important molecule in renewable energy systems. This petite molecule holds the keys for the upcoming energy transformation thanks to its enormous energy density. And there are already existing technologies to use hydrogen in various applications such as turning it into synthetic fuels.
Now you might think “Why is she talking about landfills and electrolyzers in the same context?” Brace yourself for some serious energy optimization; Then, we can let the Q Power bioreactors work their magic; utilizing the CO2 from landfill gas and combining it with the green hydrogen from the electrolyzer we can produce renewable fuels! Furthermore, by gasifying some of the waste (such as wood-based materials), we can produce syngas that can again be turned into even more synthetic methane (CH4) and heat. All this with Power’s biocatalytic methanation technology. It’s like a little energy factory within the landfill, creating an efficient cycle of renewable fuel production.
You might remember that in the beginning, I stated that methane is a greenhouse gas. Yes, it is. But this renewable methane can be used wherever fossil natural gas is currently used. Utilizing the gas that would have been wasted we can reduce the usage of fossil fuels. We can’t afford to waste any energy from waste!
Customized solutions for landfill needs
Of course, every landfill has its own unique characteristics and geographical factors that influence the best approach for energy production. We take a meticulous approach, evaluating factors such as proximity to power grids, local demand for electricity or heat, and the availability of off-takers. This way, we can customize our solutions to ensure maximum efficiency and make the most of each landfill’s potential.
I must admit, I’m not an expert in the landfill business, but what I do know is that with careful planning and analysis, we can determine the most feasible and environmentally friendly options for each site. Whether it’s supplying nearby ships with e-LNG, generating electricity for a bustling city, or even utilizing both methane and electricity for electrifying and heating purposes, there are plenty of opportunities to consider.
So, my fellow sustainability enthusiasts, let’s join forces and unlock the hidden potential of landfills. Together, we can transform these seemingly mundane waste sites into beacons of renewable energy, creating a cleaner and brighter future for generations to come. Remember, the power to make a difference lies in our hands, and it all starts with innovative thinking and a passion for environmental sustainability.
Until next time, stay curious and keep dreaming green!
Sara Kesäläinen is working in Q Power’s Technical Solution Sales. With a master’s degree in chemical engineering and a passion for sustainability, she’s on a mission to accelerate the green transition. Sara collaborates closely with customers and colleagues, leveraging Q Power’s cutting-edge technology to help clients achieve their carbon neutrality goals.