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Landll Gas-to-Energy Project HOD Landll and Antioch Community High School
The HOD Landll (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 landll 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 specic
landll closure activities to be performed. The Final Remedial Design included
a landll 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 landll would be an advantage. Then they found themselves becoming the rst school district in the U.S. to get electricity and heat from landll 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 landll gas produced by the nearby HOD closed landll into energy for use by the school, which is located approximately one-half mile from the landll. RMT led the design and construction of this landll gas-to-energy project, which includes a 360-kilowatt (kW) microturbine plant that will be powered by landll gas that is currently collected from the nearby landll. 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 landll 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.
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 landll gas a suitable fuel.
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