HOUSTON and MURRAY HILL, NJ - Waste Management, Inc., North America's largest waste services company, and Linde North America, part of The Linde Group, a leading global gases and engineering company, announced that their joint venture company has begun producing clean, renewable vehicle fuel at its facility located at the Altamont Landfill near Livermore, California. The facility is the world's largest landfill gas (LFG) to liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant.
The plant, which Linde built and operates, purifies and liquefies landfill gas that Waste Management collects from the natural decomposition of organic waste in the landfill. The plant is designed to produce up to 13,000 gallons of LNG a day - enough to fuel 300 of Waste Management's 485 LNG waste and recycling collection vehicles in twenty California communities. Since the commissioning process began in September, the plant has produced 200,000 gallons of LNG.
"The Altamont LFG-to-LNG facility enables us to recover and utilize a valuable source of clean energy in another practical way, reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. Conventional LNG is already a clean-burning and economically viable alternative fuel for our collection trucks," said Duane Woods, senior vice president for Waste Management's Western Group. "The ability to use recovered landfill gas to fuel our hauling fleet offers significant environmental benefits to the communities we serve in California and is a great example of how we are committed to recovering resources in waste."
Pat Murphy, president of Linde North America, said, "Linde is proud to create a clean and green energy solution for residents of California. Landfill-gas-derived LNG is a super ultra-low carbon fuel, as designated by the Air Resources Board and the Altamont project is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 30,000 tons a year.
Linde's expertise in designing, developing and operating purification systems and LNG plants enables us to capture energy from waste that has decomposed in the landfill and repurposes it into a clean renewable fuel that offsets the need for fossil fuels - which reduces greenhouse gas emissions."
The Altamont LFG-to-LNG facility also meets two of California Governor Schwarzenegger's environmental directives: the Bioenergy Action Plan, which seeks to advance the use and market development of biomass as a transportation fuel, and Executive Order S-3-05, which aims to reduce the state's greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020.
Four California agencies contributed to the $15.5 million Waste Management - Linde project, including the California Integrated Waste Management Board, the California Air Resources Board, the California Energy Commission and the South Coast Air Quality Management District. The management of several of the state grants has been provided by the Gas Technology Institute, which also licensed elements of the LNG production technology used in the Altamont facility.
Linda Adams, secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency remarked, "The opening of the world's largest landfill gas to LNG plant right here in California is a milestone and a testament to our commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Now that the technology has been proven, we look forward to seeing its adoption spread so more vehicles can run on garbage."
Linde has developed and deployed technologies in the U.S. and around the world to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and emissions of greenhouse gases. These include alternative energy solutions using hydrogen, biogas, LNG and other sustainable fuels. Linde provides technical solutions for the processing, transportation and storage of renewable and alternative fuels, ranging from one of the world's largest LNG plants in Hammerfest, Norway, to hydrogen, biogas and LNG fuelling stations for automobiles, buses, and trucks.
Waste Management is continually exploring new technologies and services to generate renewable energy from waste. LFG-to-LNG is a promising technology that complements Waste Management's other waste services in the areas of recycling, landfill operations, landfill gas-to-energy and waste-to-energy technology. The LFG-to-LNG technology being deployed by Linde and Waste Management at Altamont has high potential to be implemented at other landfills across North America.
Together with Waste Management's other renewable energy projects, this joint venture will contribute to the company's ongoing corporate sustainability goals, including investing in emerging technologies for managing waste, increasing fuel efficiency of its fleet by 15 percent and reducing fleet emissions by 15 percent by 2020.