Construction work has begun on a 12 ton (11 tonne) per day food waste to biogas anaerobic digestion facility at the Crapo Hill Landfill in Dartmouth, Massachusetts.
Once complete, biogas from the Dartmouth Bioenergy Facility will be used as a supplemental fuel at the site’s existing 3.3 MW landfill gas to energy plant.
The project is being developed by the Boston based management and environmental consulting firm, CommonWealth Resource Management Corporation (CRMC), in cooperation with the landfill site’s owner, the Greater New Bedford Regional Refuse Management District.
CRMC explained that the project will be constructed in two phases. In its initial pilot phase the facility is sized to accept approximately 3000 gallons (11,400 litres) per day of organic wastes.
The wastes will be held in the 100,000 gallon (378,000 litre) capacity digester for a 30 day retention period, with the biogas produced being used as a supplemental fuel at the existing landfill gas to energy plant.
If successful, CRMA said that the pilot plant will be expanded 10-fold to enable processing and digestion of up to 30,000 gallons (114,000 litres) per day of feedstock in a digester with a 1.0 to 1.2 million gallons (3.8 to 4.2 million litres) capacity.
The consultants said that the quantity of biogas expected to be produced in second phase of the project would be sufficient to support a 25% increase in the generating capacity of the existing landfill gas-fired power plant - from 3.3 MW to 4.1 MW.
The developers also claimed that the plant will be the first of its kind to be sited at an operating Massachusetts Landfill, and the first developed in the state to produce biogas for use in an existing landfill gas to energy facility.
Food waste landfill ban
According to the CRMC, in addition to producing biogas, the Bioenergy Facility is expected to enable the District, a public entity whose members include the Town of Dartmouth and the City of New Bedford, Massachusetts, to adapt to changes in the state’s solid waste management regulations regarding food wastes and other organics.
The firm said that an impending ban on the disposal of such materials generated by commercial sources could have a long-term effect on the District’s landfilling operations and its position in the regional solid waste marketplace.
The Pilot phase of the project will also be used to test the feasibility of making beneficial use of the digestate from the anaerobic digestion process within existing operations at the Landfill.
In addition to CRMC’s own capital investment, the project is being funding in part by grants and loans from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, the Massachusetts Recycling Loan Fund, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development agency.
This story was also covered in WMW’s weekly newscast below.
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