Construction starts on US landfill biogas plant

A new biogas plant is being built at the Crapo Hill landfill site in Dartmouth in Massachusetts, the US.

CommonWealth Resource Management (CRM) is developing the facility, in cooperation with the landfill owner, Greater New Bedford Regional Refuse Management District.

The facility, according to a statement from CRM, will produce biogas for use as a supplemental fuel by an existing 3.3 MW landfill gas-fired electric power generating facility at the landfill that is owned and operated by a CRM subsidiary. That subsidiary currently purchases landfill gas from the district, and also leases the site at the landfill on which the two projects will be co-located.

The plant will be constructed in two phases. First will be a pilot-scale plant, designed to accept around 3,000 gallons per day of organic waste in a digester with 100,000 gallons of holding capacity. If successful, the pilot-scale bioenergy facility will be expanded 10-fold to enable processing and digestion of up to 30,000 gallons per day of feedstock in a digester with 1-1.2 million gallons holding capacity.

The pilot phase of the project will be used to test the feasibility of making beneficial use of some portion of the residuals (spent digestate) from the anaerobic digestion process within existing operations at the landfill.

The beneficial uses to be demonstrated include the provision of a biologically enriched admixture for yard waste composting, displacing water as the source of moisture in the production of daily landfill cover materials, and stimulating landfill gas production and capture through controlled inoculation of digestate in a previously closed area of the landfill.

This new plant is the first of its kind to be sited at an operating landfill in the state, and the first to produce biogas for use in an existing landfill gas-to-energy facility.

In addition to CRM's own capital investment, the biogas plant is being funded in part by grants and loans from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, the Massachusetts Recycling Loan Fund, and the US Department of Agriculture Rural Development agency.

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