Methane Generators for Landfills




Cat® Generator Sets: How Renewable Landfill Energy Works

Modern landfills are required to install gas collection systems to capture and destroy the methane gases that are naturally produced within a landfill. These gases are burned in a flare. Rather than eliminating landfill gas by simply burning it off, Caterpillar can help you turn it into a renewable fuel by providing methane generators that can produce electric power from landfill gas.

Unexpected fuel for everyday power.

Power your world with sustainable practices. Cat® generators for landfills are designed to collect, clean, and run on harmful gases produced by landfills. It’s reliable power that can reduce your environmental impact.

Sell the power produced to your electric utility with our switchgear, including programmable logic controller (PLC) based controls, paralleling your methane generators to the local grid.

Our expert team is dedicated to getting you started and keeping you running — to keep your business sustainable and successful.

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Recovered Methane Fuels Sustainable Power

With today's focus on renewable energy and carbon emissions reductions, landfill-gas-to-energy projects are gaining momentum. These applications use Cat generators to turn waste into economically viable electricity. Caterpillar continually researches, develops, and delivers landfill gas products specifically designed to be operated on landfill gas fuels.

Cat methane generators for landfills are designed to:
- Extend equipment life and maintenance intervals for
   landfill applications
- Deliver improved performance and reliability
- Offer lower operating and maintenance costs

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How It Works

Landfill gas is produced naturally as organic waste decomposes in landfills. It is composed of methane, carbon dioxide, and small amounts of non-methane organic compounds. As an important and growing application within the world's power generation mix, landfill-gas-to-energy systems collect, process, and treat this gas for use in generating electricity. Two common approaches to landfill gas collection include vertical well extraction and horizontal collectors or trenches.

Municipalities generally use blowers or vacuums to direct the gas from a collection site through a network of pipes to a central facility. At most developed municipal solid-waste landfills, the methane and carbon dioxide are destroyed in a gas collection and control system or utility flare. The sustainable alternative is to divert the landfill gas from the flare to be used in electricity-producing Cat methane generators.

The diverted fuel is dried and sometimes refined to remove impurities such as:

  • Sulfur
  • Halides
  • Siloxanes (Silica)

After fuel treatment, the methane is introduced into a Cat gas generator as fuel. These generators are specifically designed for operation at landfills with:

  • A crankcase ventilation pump to eject potentially acidic blow-by gases
  • Specially designed aftercooler cores, cylinder heads, main bearings, and connecting rod bearings that are hardened against corrosive elements
  • Differentiated cooling systems to operate at elevated jacket water temperatures to prevent condensation of contaminants

Cat switchgear with PLC-based controls is supplied to parallel the generators to the local electrical grid to export renewable power at a premium to the local electric utility.


Cat Gas Gensets help convert Biogas to clean energy

Byproduct gases from agricultural, food processing, and industrial processes are captured to fuel Cat low-energy fuel generators. These generators are engineered to handle fuel with variations in methane content typical of biogas operations. And the energy you generate is nearly free power for your facility.

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