U.S. EPA Contaminated Site Cleanup Information (CLU-IN)


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
U.S. EPA Technology Innovation and Field Services Division
Operating Industries, Inc. Landfill, Monterey Park, CA
Superfund NPL
 
 
IMAGE GALLERY

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Aerial View
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Waste to Energy
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Microturbines
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LFG Treatment
Systems
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Energy & Resources


Cleanup Objectives: Remediate soil and ground water contaminated by a 190-acre inactive landfill

Green Remediation Strategy: Convert the Operating Industries, Inc. (OII) landfill gas (LFG) to electric power for onsite use in removing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other contaminants from the landfill emissions

  • Installed six 70-kW microturbines in 2002 to produce electricity from LFG collected through 460 gas extraction wells (including 185 dual-phase extraction wells) instead of continuing to manage the LFG exclusively as waste via flaring
  • Use the waste gas-to-energy system to offset a $370,000 annual electricity cost for operating an existing LFG treatment system that uses energy-intensive LFG combustion blowers, thermal oxidizers operating at 1,800°F, and auxiliary equipment with a total demand of 600 kWh
  • Avoid potential escape of VOCs to the air by returning microturbine emissions to the LFG treatment system

Results:

  • Extracted LFG with a methane content ranging from 29% to 39% at an average rate of 4,200 standard cubic feet per minute for conversion to electricity
  • Generated sufficient electricity upon microturbine startup to meet approximately 70% of the LFG treatment system's energy demand
  • Recovered nearly 45% of the $1.25 million microturbine purchasing costs (including equipment, installation, and warranty) through receipt of a $450,000 energy grant from Southern California Edison and a $105,000 energy rebate from the California Energy Commission
  • Incurred an annual cost of $25,000 for microturbine operation, following an initial five-year equipment warranty period during which annual operating costs averaged $10,000
  • Generated more than 15,000 MWh of electricity over seven years of operation, resulting in an energy cost savings of nearly $21,000 for the project each month (approximately $1.75 million total)
  • Derived a cumulative net project savings conservatively estimated at $647,000, based on 2006/2007 energy production rates, over seven years of microturbine operations
  • Monitored the LFG-to-energy system on a continuous basis to assure operating efficiencies, and shut down the system (in 2010) when methane concentrations declined to levels at which continued operation of the system was no longer cost effective (meeting less than 50% of the energy demand and needing more frequent repair of the relatively aged equipment); upon shutdown, operations were modified to again involve LFG flaring
  • Exploring potential onsite production of additional electricity or heat from solar resources or thermal recovery for onsite use by future businesses or sale to the local utility

Property End Use: Commercial/industrial operations or open space, pending Superfund close-out

Point of Contact: Julie Santiago-Ocasio, U.S. EPA Region 9

Update: March 2011

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