Landfill gas and Coca Cola?

7 Mar 2013

As organic wastes in landfills break down, they form methane.  Until recently, that methane either escaped into the air or was directed to a flare to be burned.  Methane was viewed as a nuisance and something that could cause problems if it traveled in the wrong directions.  However, recently landfill operators have been either selling that methane or using it to generate power on site.  This is both economically and environmentally good as a resource is used and methane (which is a much stronger greenhouse gas than CO2) is combusted.

Recently, the EPA documented the numbers of landfills collecting and using methane and those yet to do so. It turns out that Michigan ranks number three in the Nation behind California and Pennsylvania with 39 landfills using landfill gas and only eight left to do so.

Even more recently, I stumbled across this article which discusses how the Georgia company that makes these fancy new “Freestyle” Coca-Cola machines uses landfill gas piped from a nearby landfill to generate almost 100% of the electricity and steam used to power the plant.  We’ve seen these new machines (which serve up to 100 different flavors) in various new fast food outlets and during a recent trip to Florida – who knew they were manufactured using renewable energy from waste?

Leave a Comment to “Landfill gas and Coca Cola?”

  1. Steve Black 06. Apr, 2013 at 4:41 am #

    What is more is that burning the gas in a nearby factory is a much more efficient use of the energy than turning it into eectricity, due to the various power losses that introduces. For example, there are losses in the power lines.

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