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Turning Landfill Methane into Energy

Turning Landfill Methane into Energy

The dirty secrets of your local rubbish tip are coming clean

Concerns about global warming, rising energy prices, and the drive for localised energy independence have led many to look in unfamiliar places for energy, including landfills. That’s right - as the organic waste in landfills decays, it emits a common form of natural, but dangerous gas – methane.

You might know methane as one of the worst greenhouse gases there is, but it is also an excellent feedsource for biogas. Your local council or garbage company simply have to capture the methane and turn it into electricity to power homes and business via the electricity grid.

The result - an industry with a very dirty past is going through a makeover and becoming an affordable, sustainable and reliable way to meet a portion of Australian’s energy needs. 

How does it work? Methane is produced during the anaerobic digestion process that takes place when organic matter decomposes. Thus, all of the organic matter that consumers put into the trash – most notably things like food scraps – can actually be converted into methane, which is now captured and fed to a treatment plant that cleans the gas and converts it to biogas for energy.


The added bonus of converting our household waste into energy is that we also reduce the size and growth of landfills, thereby helping to mitigate some of the problems associated with too much waste. Australia’s waste to energy market is still in its nascent stages, but it’s poised for huge growth.

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