Canonsburg, Pennsylvania-based Archaea Energy, an emerging leader in the development of renewable natural gas (RNG), has announced that its landfill gas (LFG)-to-RNG project in partnership with Rumpke Waste & Recycling, Cincinnati, is fully operational.
Located in Ashland, Kentucky, at the Boyd County Sanitary Landfill, the plant now has the capacity to produce 2,300 MMBtu per day of pipeline-quality RNG, which Archaea says will provide a predictable source of feedstock in perpetuity and transform the site into a renewable energy center.
Archaea’s technical and operational team enabled this LFG-to-RNG energy project to become operational in just four months after acquiring the project from another developer. Until now, the plant was unable to upgrade its LFG to meet pipeline specifications.
“Our mission was multi-faceted: to ensure that that the Boyd County biogas project is fully compliant, operational, and profitable and that it benefits the tri-state communities in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia,” said Nick Stork, Archaea Energy co-founder and CEO. “Our experienced team helps landfills and off-take partners harness the power of RNG, guided by the company’s values and a strong commitment to sustainability and decarbonization.”
Rumpke Area President Andrew Rumpke added, “We are deeply committed to the communities where we operate facilities and service customers. Partnering with Archaea on an RNG Project at the Boyd County Sanitary Landfill aligns with our mission to ensure environmental compliance and safety as a responsible neighbor to the local community.”
Producing pipeline-quality RNG
The landfill currently processes about 1,400 tons of trash a day from the tri-state area within a 75-mile radius.
According to Achaea, previous attempts by other RNG developers to increase the landfill’s methane recovery levels by implementing a nitrogen-rejection process were unsuccessful in meeting the specifications for pipeline-quality RNG without heavy blending with natural gas. The company says it has “worked diligently with the Rumpke team to improve landfill gas collection, significantly reduce emissions and increase renewable gas production.”
By applying its knowledge of gas separation and nitrogen rejection, Achaea says its team was able to repair and optimize the plant to remove inert components and convert the raw LFG to RNG with high levels of methane recovery. In addition, Archaea is able to produce RNG without any blending of fossil natural gas through improved management of the wellfield, the company says.
“Leveraging the combined experience of our technical and operational teams across over 30 biogas projects, we turned a very challenging RNG plant into a revenue-producing renewable energy project in a short timeframe,” said Charlie Anderson, Archaea’s co-founder and director of gas processing. “We achieved this by carefully analyzing each step of the landfill gas upgrade process to identify opportunities for the most impactful improvements and then implemented changes to re-commission the plant successfully. In particular, our expertise in separating nitrogen from RNG was key to producing RNG without blending.”