Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Using Thermal Mass Flow Meters for Measuring Landfill Gas Emission

Landfill gas reclaim
Landfill gas reclaim
Landfill gas is a mixture of methane, carbon dioxide, and oxygen created by the action of microorganisms during decomposition within a landfill. It is made up approximately of 40% to 60% percent methane, with the remainder being primarily carbon dioxide.

Gases produced by landfills are both valuable and hazardous, and the importance of monitoring their emissions is critical. Under the Clean Air Act of 1996, many large landfills must install gas collection and control systems to collect, reuse, or flare the gas off. According to the EPA, landfills are the third largest generator of methane gas, the second most prevalent gas to contribute to the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Effect. For that reason it is important to contain and process the methane gas in a way that it does not increase the level of GHG’s in the Earth atmosphere.
thermal mass flow meter
Thermal mass flow meter
(courtesy of Thermal Instrument)

The gases produced within a landfill are readily available energy sources, and are collected and used in multiple ways. Landfill operators use a combination of wellheads, pumps, and piping to funnel these gases to a central point where they can either be burned off by a flare system or converted into renewable energy. Many landfills now see this gas as a revenue source and are now containing it and sending the gas to local power plants as renewable energy. The landfill gas can be utilized on site by a boiler or combustion system, providing heat and/or steam. Electricity can also be generated on site. Alternatively, the landfill gas can be cleaned and sold into natural gas pipelines.

Understanding this, the benefit for both a cleaner environment and a way to offset operating costs, landfill operators have much greater motivation for collecting and accurately measuring landfill gas.

Thermal mass flow meters are a proven and recognized tool in measuring the amount of flowing landfill gas, providing an accurate means of compliance with the EPA Clean Air Act, as well as for accurate production/resale measurement. Thermal mass flow meters are versatile solutions, easily calibrated to the exact gas mixture and operating temperatures that landfill operators are working under. The thermal mass flowmeter insertion probe hardware, power source, and standard 4-20 mA output makes installation easy, usually requiring just minutes to install and start-up. 

The use of thermal mass flow meters, installed and measuring landfill gas flows, are now helping turn what was once waste gas into a renewable energy source.

For more information, contact:
BCE (Belilove Company Engineers)
21060 Corsair Blvd
Hayward, CA 94545
Phone: (510) 274-1990
Fax: (510) 274-1999
E-mail: sales@belilove.com