WWMT Newschannel 3 - Search Results
Company converts trash into electricity
WATERVLIET, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - One man's trash, is another man's power. A West Michigan company is using the stuff that gets thrown out to generate electricity.
The Orchard Hill Landfill is more than just a dump. The 283-acre landfill provides the Orchard Hill generation station with methane gas so it can be changed into power, about 3,200 kilowatts of power, which is enough power to service 2,000 average-sized homes.
So, how does a gas get converted into power? It all starts in the landfill. Chip Shaw, the compliance manager for the landfill management company that owns Orchard Hill explains, "We have about 193 gas collectors, and those collectors will pull the gas from the waste itself and then take it to the sump on the other end. This sump collects all the gas and that gas is sent through a pipe to the generation station."
Once the gas is pumped to the generation station, Granger Energy chief operating officer Joel Zylstra says a three-step process takes place: "What we do is we compress, filter and dry the gas. We have filtration units that take out the fine particles that come with the gas, then we dry the gas by taking it below its dew point, drop off all the water and at that point, the gas is fully processed. The gas is then directed into the engine generation room where engines actually burn landfill gas directly into generators that produce the electricity."
The electricity is then regulated by Michigan Public Power Agency's utility grid. In addition to providing West Michigan with all that renewable energy, Zylstra says this process helps out the environment in many ways.
"When we have a resource like landfill gas that is readily available, it makes so much sense to not flare it and waste that energy into the atmosphere, but harness it and try to use it productively."
For more information on how methane gas is being transformed into a renewable energy, click here.