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Landfill gas is produced by wet organic waste decomposing under anaerobic conditions in a landfill. The waste is covered and compressed mechanically and by the weight of the material that is deposited from above. This material prevents oxygen from accessing the waste and anaerobic microbes thrive. This gas builds up and is slowly released into the atmosphere if the landfill site has not been engineered to capture the gas. Landfill gas is hazardous for three key reasons. Landfill gas becomes explosive when it escapes from the landfill and mixes with oxygen. The lower explosive limit is 5% methane and the upper explosive limit is 15% methane. The methane contained within biogas is 20 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Therefore uncontained landfill gas which escapes into the atmosphere may significantly contribute to the effects of global warming. In addition to this volatile organic compounds (VOCs) contained within landfill gas contribute to the formation of photochemical smog.
MWM has installed genset running in landfill site of Budenheim. The waste of the city of Mainz was disposed of, for decades. We think it is a good example of what recultivation can achieve. For the local authorities it was obviously an integral part of a decent waste treatment policy, as they have transformed the ground back into a recreation area. However, a landfill, after being actually closed, will still generate landfill gas for years to come. This is why a modular approach with MWM gensets is a sensible solution for landfills.