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Publication Title | Landfill Gas-to-energy project HOD landfill and Antioch Community high school

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Landll Gas-to-Energy Project HOD Landll and Antioch Community High School

The HOD Landll (the site) is located within the eastern boundary of the Village of Antioch in Lake County in northeastern Illinois. The closed 51-acre municipal and industrial solid waste disposal facility was active from 1963 to 1984. During that time, the landll accepted approximately 2 million tons of waste.

On September 28, 1998, the United States Environmental Protection Agency

(USEPA) issued a Record of Decision (ROD) for the site, with concurrence from

the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA). The ROD required specic

landll closure activities to be performed. The Final Remedial Design included

a landll gas and leachate management system and improved nal cover. Operation of the gas and leachate management system began on April 3, 2001, including the monitoring of gas ow rates and characteristics.

A Valuable Lesson

Never did Antioch Community High School think that residing next to this landll would be an advantage. Then they found themselves becoming the rst school district in the U.S. to get electricity and heat from landll gas.

In 2002, RMT, Inc. (RMT), an environmental engineering, consulting, and construction management rm, entered into a contract with the Antioch Community High School to turn landll gas produced by the nearby HOD closed landll into energy for use by the school, which is located approximately one-half mile from the landll. RMT led the design and construction of this landll gas-to-energy project, which includes a 360-kilowatt (kW) microturbine plant that will be powered by landll gas that is currently collected from the nearby landll. This energy will, in turn, be used to heat and power the school. “We’re going to be able to recycle, save money for the taxpayers, and help with the environment,” says Bill Ahlers, business manager for Antioch Community School District 117.

The Grant that Made It Happen

The overall cost of the project was estimated at $1.9 million. According to Mark Torresani, RMT project manager, there were a few things that made this project possible. RMT completed a grant application on behalf

of the Antioch School District for submittal to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (formerly knows as Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs) in April 2002, who then awarded Antioch Community High School a $550,000 grant from the state’s Renewable Energy Resources Program (RERP) to design and construct the facility. The school district funded the rest by issuing a revenue bond.

Putting It to Work

One-half mile of piping carries the gas from the landll to 12 Capstone MicroTurbinesTM located on the school property. The energy recovered from the microturbines, which were developed by Capstone Turbine Corporation and installed by Unison Solutions, will be used to heat and power the 262,000 square-foot school building.

Each Capstone MicroTurbineTM generates 30 kW of electricity for a combined total of 360kW. The planned system will produce enough power to satisfy demand for the equivalent of 120 homes. Generated electricity will be used at the school, and any extra electricity will be sold to Com Ed.

The Science

How does this whole thing work? As soon as waste is deposited, bacteria begin the decomposition process. Decomposition can occur either anaerobically (without oxygen) or aerobically (with oxygen). Anaerobic decomposition is a biochemical reaction that produces methane and carbon dioxide, both “greenhouse” gases, also known as “biogas”. Typically, biogas is 50-60% methane. It is methane that makes the landll gas a suitable fuel.

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