Renewable Energy

Landfill Gas Project

The University of Iowa continues to investigate opportunities with the City of Iowa City to identify a beneficial partnership for use of landfill gas.

What is the Landfill Gas Project?

The University of Iowa and the City of Iowa City have been working as partners to periodically discuss and consider the creation of a unique renewable energy project.  This collaborative project could utilize landfill gas for use at the University of Iowa. The landfill gas could be combusted in an engine and used to produce electric power and heat for the campus.

How is landfill gas used to produce energy?

Landfill gas is produced when municipal solid waste decays in the landfill.  Currently, the gas at the Iowa City landfill is burned in a flare as required by its operating permit.  This process converts the methane into carbon dioxide which significantly lowers the impact of green house gas emissions from the landfill.  The UI could burn the landfill gas in an engine to produce power and convert the methane gas to carbon dioxide. 

What is the advantage of using landfill gas for energy?

The landfill gas could produce renewable electric power at a lower cost, compared to purchasing power from the grid, and the recycled heat from the generators could provide district heating to buildings thereby reducing the reliance on the more expensive fossil fuel natural gas.

 

Contact:

For more information, contact: Ben Fish, Assistant Director, Utilities & Utilities.