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Landfill begins to produce biogas in Brazil's Northeast Region

Landfill begins to produce biogas in Brazil's Northeast Region


Having characteristics in common with the natural gas, the biomethane will start to be produced in Ceará at the Caucaia West Metropolitan Sanitary Landfill (ASMOC), located in the Metropolitan Region of Fortaleza. The project, called Fortaleza Renewable Natural Gas (Fortaleza RNG), is a state government partnership with Fortaleza City Hall and private companies.

The first stage of the plant was inaugurated this Monday (Apr. 11), when the system to process the gases from the rubbish dump was turned on. Márcio Schittini, CEO of Ecometano, one of the companies participanting in the project, explains that in the first stage, they have installed about 150 vertical and horizontal drains (the total will be 200) in areas of the landfill to capture the gases, which will be directed to a gas treatment unit where bio-methane will be produced.

According to him, Fortaleza RNG will start producing 70,000 cubic meters (m³) of biomethane per day and can reach up to 150,000 m³/ day, ranking the landfill as the second largest biogas producer in Brazil (the first is Jardim Gramacho in Rio de Janeiro, which already has the capacity to produce 240,000 m³ of biogas per day).

"At a first moment, the gas will be used by the industry. Then it is expected to arrive in houses, taxis, and if we aspire something more positive, this gas can replace the diesel used in bus fleets and garbage trucks. "The plant construction should be completed by the end of 2017 and the first stage received an investment of $28.34 million.

Márcio Schittini points out that the biomethane production exceeds the landfill's useful  life. "Biogas is still produced for many years after the landfill is over. The project has a useful life, but it is planned to last at least 30 years. "

ASMOC receives more than 5,000 tons of solid waste  per day coming from Fortaleza and Caucaia. The landfill area is expanding and, after the completion of the process, it should have a useful life of 17 years and six months.

According to Antônio Cambraia, president of Ceará Gas Company (Cegás), gas distributor focused on the state, biomethane has already the ceramic industry as the first customer, problaby for all initial production (70 m³ / day).

Translated by Amarílis Anchieta