First-of-its-kind Sustainable Landfill in Texas Becomes a Global Model

The City of Denton Landfill (Texas, USA) reportedly is the first in the world to implement “closed-loop waste management.” This technique combines landfill gas (LFG) capture with landfill mining to sort out and recover reusable and re-sellable plastics and metals, as well the remaining organic material for conversion to biomass energy pellets. Mining reduces the volume of material enough (by an estimated 95%) for the fill space itself to be re-used for new waste placement, thereby extending the life of the landfill essentially indefinitely (i.e., perpetual landfill). Dr. Sahadat Hossain, of the Solid Waste Institute for Sustainability (SWIS) at the University of Texas Arlington, developed this perpetual landfill model to be cost-efficient and potentially profitable. The roughly 20-year cyclical process significantly reduces the need for long-term environmental monitoring, one of the greatest legacy swis-logocosts of landfill management. It also reduces a municipality’s land acquisition costs for future landfill sites, while providing a revenue stream in the forms of cheap, locally-produced energy and reusable materials.

While the concept is readily applicable to U.S. solid waste management sites, even greater potential may reside in many developing countries, where open-pit landfills and open-air trash burning are common solid waste disposal methods. Many of the developing world’s cities do not have the same level of access to public and private funding for landfill projects as their counterparts in developed nations, and cannot readily afford greener and more sanitary forms of waste management. However, the profitability factor of the closed-loop technique, along with potential public health and environmental benefits, could be attractive to both budget-conscious policymakers and investors, creating potential for deployment worldwide (source: Al Jazeera). Speaking with Methane International, Dr. Hossain says SWIS and the City of Denton have already welcomed representatives from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, who plan to implement a closed-loop system for their city.

Another sign of global applicability is the group of international students and researchers eager to come to SWIS each year to learnwinter-school-students about emerging methods like this at a two-week “Winter School,” a hands-on landfill sustainability program hosted jointly with the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) and the City of Denton. Dr. Hossain and his team will welcome the Winter School’s 2017 class of up-and-coming landfill sustainability specialists to Arlington, Texas, on January 16-27, where GMI’s Tom Frankiewicz will be a featured presenter.

And the timing of the gathering couldn’t be better – it just happens to be January of 2017 that the nearby City of Denton’s new landfill system is expected to become fully operational.

GMI Attends its Second Climate and Clean Air Coalition Working Group Meeting

At the Global Methane Forum last March, GMI officially joined the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) as a non-state partner to ramp up collaboration on methane activities in the oil & gas, MSW, and agriculture sectors. GMI attended its first CCAC Working Group meeting as part of its new official capacity immediately after the Forum, and attended its second Working Group meeting last month in Paris, France. Monica Shimamura, Co-Director of the Administrative Support Group, represented GMI in Paris.

IISD Reporting Services created a useful meeting summary on the sessions, and we want to direct you to pages 8-10 of the summary, which focus on the CCAC Oil & Gas Initiative’s partner presentations and the upcoming High Level Assembly to take place at the Conference of Parties (COP22) in Marrakech, Morocco next month. CCAC also posted its own readout with links to presentations and videos – Dr. Drew Shindell’s presentation titled ‘Climate Action – Reducing the Risk for Current and Future Generations’ is embedded below.

GMI will continue to keep stakeholders apprised on its collaboration with formal partners – the next joint meeting is with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe’s Group of Experts on Coal Mine Methane in Geneva, Switzerland on 24 October (register here). Stay tuned!

GMI Calendar – Exciting Upcoming Events

August is a slow month here in hot, sticky Washington, D.C., where your GMI Administrative Support Group (ASG) is based, but more exciting months are ahead. Here’s what’s coming up in September/October:

16th International Symposium and Exhibition on CBM/CMM and Shale Gas in China
12-14 September 2016: Jincheng, China
nios-logoHeld by the National Institute for Occupational Safety (NIOS) and the China Coal Information Institute (CCII), the International Symposium on CBM/CMM and Shale Gas in China is an international communication platform which brings together stakeholders to share experiences and project-oriented solutions to the problem of CBM/CMM development. The Symposium will also consider shale gas policies and development and commercialization strategies.

International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) World Congress
19-21 September 2016Novi Sad, Serbia
How will Southeast Europe reach the standards and goals of waste management set out in the EU directive? We know that countries such as Austria, Sweden, Netherlands and Japan took more than 30 years to reach their current high levels of effective waste management. Can Southeast Europe meets its deadline in a decade? How and at what cost? How will this be financed? Which technologies will be used? What types of laws and regulations are needed to achieve this? How will authorities communicate to citizens the choices before them? What kind of lessons can be learned from the successful or failed attempts of other countries? Which sciences and studies can be applied in the region? These are the topics, challenges and debates expected at ISWA World Congress in Novi Sad in 2016.

Climate and Clean Air Coalition Working Group Meeting
20-21 September 2016: Paris, France
CCAC_logoThe Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) will hold its biannual Working Group Meeting in Paris, following the last Working Group Meeting at the Global Methane Forum. The focus of this Working Group Meeting will be learning more about the progress and impact of CCAC initiatives through interactive sessions. It will also involve discussion and agreement on changes to the CCAC partnership and governance following the work of the Task Team, including changes to streamline the funding process, and preparations for the High Level Assembly (HLA) in Marrakesh on the margins of COP22. A member of the GMI ASG will attend to represent GMI in its new role as non-state Partner. As this meeting is not open to the public, stay tuned for our report on the meeting.

24th World Mining Congress: Mining in a World of Innovation
18-21 October 2016: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
world-mining-congress-logoThe World Mining Congress is a world mining event that takes place every 3 years. The event aims to promote and support, both technically and scientifically, the cooperation for the national and international development of mineral areas and resources, and implement a global information network concerning mineral science, technology, economy, occupational health and safety and environmental protection.

11th Session Group of Experts on Coal Mine Methane / GMI Coal Subcommittee Meeting
24-25 October 2016: Geneva, Switzerland
The UNECE Group of Experts on Coal Mine Methane (CMM) undertakes and promotes activities aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from coal mines. Apart from its focus on reduction of the carbon footprint of the mining industry, the Group of Experts also works toward the improvement of underground mine safety conditions. Through its activities in the field of methane recovery and use, the Group of Experts helps to reduce the risk of coal mine explosions, and thus helps to save lives and avoid large-scale economic losses.

 

 

Win a Scholarship to 2017 ISWA-SWIS Winter School

iswa-headerAlthough it’s high summer here in the Northern Hemisphere, the Global Methane Initiative is already glancing ahead to the 2017 ISWA-SWIS Winter School. The International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) will hold the conference on 16-27 January 2017, at the University of Texas at Arlington’s (UTA’s) Solid Waste Institute for Sustainability (SWIS). GMI has become an annual participant at the conference – last year, GMI’s own Tom Frankiewicz served as a presenter on the “Global Waste Management Perspective” panel discussion.

swis-logoThis year, SWIS is offering a chance to win a full scholarship to the Winter School through a sustainable waste management essay competition. Students and professionals from around the world are invited to write an essay on a specific aspect of solid waste management in their respective countries. The authors of the best essays will be awarded scholarships to attend the Winter School. Scholarships cover the following:

  • Free registration to the 2017 ISWA-SWIS Winter School at UTA
  • Lodging and transportation during their stay for the Winter School
  • Free air round-trip ticket from country of residence to DFW Airport, Dallas, Texas will be provided to a limited number of applicants

The deadline to apply for a Winter School scholarship is 15 September 2016 (Texas local time). Additional submission guidelines and rules are on ISWA’s website.

For more information about the Winter School itself, you can download the ISWA-SWIS brochure or check out the conference on ISWA’s Calendar of Events.

UTA-logo

GMI to Attend to UK AD & Biogas 2016

show2016exhibitor728x90_animThe Global Methane Initiative will be exhibiting at the United Kingdom’s Anaerobic Digestion & Biogas 2016 (UK AD & Biogas 2016, or ADBA)  on 6 and 7 July in Birmingham, UK.

This event will bring together the world’s leading international technology and product suppliers under one roof, along with some of the most engaging and knowledgeable minds in the industry. For more information, visit their website or check out this great video about the conference:

The event will be an exciting time for everyone involved in our industry. In addition to the Trade Show, there is a 2-day conference and seminar program, with speakers from across the globe discussing broad topics as well as practical ‘how-to’ sessions that will help everyone run their businesses more effectively.

We’ll be posting more information about the agenda and speakers in the coming weeks until the conference. In the meantime, registration is still open, and the conference is free to attend. If you can make it, don’t forget to visit GMI’s booth: stand C604!

 

GMF Presentation Highlights – CSIRO CMM Case Study

In recent weeks, Methane International has continued to feature presentations from the 2016 Global Methane Forum (GMF). Previously, we covered the GMF’s plenary session on China’s Food Waste and Sludge Management Practices, Challenges, and Lessons Learned and a series of new innovative projects piloting Technologies to Quantify Methane Emissions.

Underground CMM Capture and Emission Reduction
Output from CSIRO’s three-dimensional COSFLOW model used to characterize the mine’s structure and hydrology.

This week, we’re highlighting Dr. Hua Guo’s case study on Underground Coal Mine Methane (CMM) Capture and Emission Reduction. Dr. Guo, Coal Mining Research Director for Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), collaborated with staff from Glencore International’s (formerly Xstrata) Bulga Underground Coal Operation outside of Sydney. Studying the Blakefield South Mine, the project team worked to develop a holistic and optimal approach of planning, design and operational control of CMM drainage and ventilation systems to maximize methane capture and minimize fugitive emissions in gassy and multiple seam conditions.

CMM-2D-map
Two-dimensional characterization of the Blakefield Mine site.

After extensively characterizing the mine complex’ hydrogeology and monitoring emissions, the project team used CSIRO’s COSFLOW model, combined with calibrated field studies, to develop a three-dimensional analysis of the mine strata, hydrology and gas to assess key parameters for the site’s gas drainage, and design an optimal gas drainage plan for the site.

The project team implemented a trial demonstration in a longwall mine including a goaf gas drainage system consisting of underground horizontal holes in the roof and floor seams. The trial resulted in improved gas capture performance, increased drainage efficiency, improved mine safety and coal productivity, and increased methane capture and emission reductions. To learn more about this innovative project, see the above presentation link.

CMM-fugitive-generation
Methane captured from the floor lateral holes is used in a 9-megawatt power generation unit.

 

World Bank’s Second Auction Yields 5.7 Million Certified Emission Reductions Guarantees

Last week, the World Bank conducted its second auction in a series of pilots by the Pilot Auction Facility for Methane and Climate Change Mitigation (PAF), an innovative new financing mechanism that aims to attract private sector investment while efficiently reducing emissions.

GMI-PAF-infograph

The PAF incentivizes climate-friendly project developers to capture the methane byproduct by providing a price guarantee for selling carbon credits via a tradeable put option. The purchase of put options enables project developers to hedge the risk of low carbon credit prices that could make the methane capture project unviable. For this pay-for-performance tool, the World Bank will pay project developers only after independent auditors have verified the emission reductions.

Like the World Bank’s first PAF auction held last year, the auction conducted last week targeted eligible landfill, agriculture, and wastewater methane capture projects. Unlike the first auction where participants bid on a carbon credit strike price, the second auction used a ‘forward format’ that fixed the strike price at $3.50/credit while participants bid on the premium price. The premium price paid per carbon credit allows option holders the right to sell credits back to the PAF at $3.50 per credit before 2020. For a more detailed description on how the first and second auctions worked, see these helpful videos.

Twenty-one companies from 12 countries participated in the second auction on $20 million of climate funds. After 10 auction rounds, 9 methane project developers walked away with put options for up to 5.7 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emission reductions at a premium price of $1.41 per ton of CO2e. Upon purchasing the put options, auction winners may either sell eligible emission reductions to the PAF, trade the contracts on the secondary market, or let the contracts expire.

GMI is proud to have informed the development of the PAF mechanism, and welcomed its presence on the Global Methane Forum finance panel (see presentation). We look forward to the third auction to take place this Fall.

For more information, see the World Bank press release.