“Sales of our biogas compressors are growing as more and more customers are seeking more environmentally friendly solutions,” said Travis Puchalski, business development manager leading LeROI’s engineering team. “Since 2015, Ingersoll Rand’s LeROI, based in Sidney, Ohio, has been working to be part of the solution.”
Many of us are familiar with the pollution created by large livestock operations and landfills. In the past, waste pollutants from livestock operations were pumped into large waste lagoons and eventually spread on farm fields as fertilizer. This caused nitrogen contamination to the soil and groundwater as well as the release of the greenhouse gas, methane. Livestock methane contributes to approximately 14% of all greenhouse gas emissions.
Landfills are also a large producer of greenhouse gasses. Landfill gas is a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide and is a natural byproduct of decomposing organic materials. Landfill gas contributes to approximately 17% of all greenhouse gas emissions. This is important because methane is a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Methane is 25 times more effective than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere.
To promote renewable energy and a cleaner environment, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began offering Renewable Energy Credits to organizations that are willing to modify their processes to generate renewable energy—and these organizations began turning to LeROI for solutions.
Today, many large livestock ponds are lined and covered. They are called anaerobic lagoons or digesters. These lagoons/digesters produce a gas mixture of about 60 percent methane “natural gas” and 40 percent CO2. LeROI has multiple customers that require this low-pressure biogas to be compressed in order to send the biogas through their gas separation equipment. The gas collected, compressed and processed by these units is separated into two streams: the product stream, 96% methane, is injected into local natural gas distribution systems that powers homes and businesses and the waste stream, “carbon dioxide,” is sent to a flare or thermal oxidizer. The benefit is twofold, these systems utilize agricultural waste as renewable energy as well drastically lower greenhouse gas emissions.
Today, landfill waste collection begins as non-hazardous waste and is collected in designated areas or cells. As these areas fill, they are sealed off to allow decomposition. The decomposition causes gases to be released. Within these cells, the site will use either horizontal trenches or a vertical well to collect gas and funnel it to a LeROI biogas compressor unit; landfill gas is then converted to electric energy.
Reducing our carbon footprint is important. At LeROI, we appreciate the opportunity to contribute in a way that promotes a cleaner, healthier environment and contributes to Ingersoll Rand’s achievement of its 2030 & 2050 Environmental Goals, launched earlier this year.
One style of our biogas compressor units.