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Landfill Gas to Energy

The natural degradation of organic matter in a landfill creates gas. This gas is about 50% methane (CH4) and 50% carbon dioxide (CO2) and is burned by flaring or use as a fuel.  Burning the landfill gas reduces its climate change potential by converting the methane to carbon dioxide and water vapor.  Methane has a higher climate change potential than carbon dioxide or water vapor.  Climate change potential is a concept developed to compare the ability of each greenhouse gas to trap heat in the atmosphere relative to another gas.  An alternative to flaring is to use the methane as a fuel source for the production of electricity. The gas can be converted into electricity through the use of a microturbine or fuel cell. It also may be burned for heating purposes.


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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000

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