26 May 2009 03:05:05
Landfill emissions to power US university
The University of New Hampshire (UNH) is to power itself using purified methane gas from a landfill site located close to its Durham campus.
Using EcoLine, a $49 million (£31 million) waste and recycling project to convert gas into energy, the US education and research institute will derive up to 85 percent of its electricity and heat from landfill emissions.
Mark Huddleston, president of UNH, said: "This massive project, more than four years in the making, will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and stabilise our fuel source and costs."
EcoLine was developed in partnership with Waste Management's Turnkey Recycling and Environmental Enterprise in Rochester, New Hampshire.
Over 300 extraction wells and collection pipes are used to collect the methane gas, which is a naturally occurring by-product of landfill decomposition.
It is then purified and compressed before being pumped to the university's cogeneration plant, where it will now become the primary fuel source.
Tom Kelly, chief sustainability officer at UNH, explained that the facility also captures waste heat created during electricity production and uses it to heat buildings across the campus.
"UNH has committed to lowering its emissions by 50 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2080," he added.
It has also purchased a second generator at its cogeneration plant and will sell any power created in excess of the university's needs back to the electric grid.http://unh.edu/news/cj_nr/2009/may/bp19ecoline.cfm