Renewable energy

  • Biogas
    Climate change
    Carbon footprint
    Landfill
    Methane

Deep Scan Tech supports domestic biogas production in the largest landfill in Finland

 Published on January 24, 2024

The energy crisis is a burning issue around the world. In particular, the prices of natural gas have skyrocketed in Europe and countries are scrambling to find alternative sources of energy. Deep Scan Tech’s unique 3D scanning technology can boost the production of landfill gas, one of the most important non-fossil sources of gas. In fact, landfill gas recovery represents the most cost-efficient technology available for biogas production according to an estimate of the International Energy Agency (IEA) with an average cost of 0.8 cents/kWh [1], just a fraction of the EU average price of 8,6 cents/kWh for natural gas in 2022 [2].

"Being able to see 3D scans of the internal structure and contents of the landfill heap is very valuable information for biogas production."

A major site using Deep Scan Tech’s 3D scans to support biogas production is Finland’s largest landfill in Ämmässuo that serves the Helsinki capital region. Being able to see 3D scans of the internal structure and contents of the landfill heap is very valuable information for biogas production. Efficient production of the gas takes place when an area inside the landfill has just the right mix of biodegradable waste and moisture. Too little or too much water will hinder the gas production creating a shortfall that can cause costly gas collection infrastructure work below its full capacity. With 3D scans, the areas needing more moisture or less become visible. The irrigation system that circulates leachate water in the landfill can then be controlled accordingly resulting in optimized gas production.

With landfill gas production a double environmental benefit is gained: not only is biogas a renewable energy resource but, moreover, using it in a controlled manner also reduces the emissions of methane into the atmosphere – a potent greenhouse gas with a global warming potential (GWP) 84 times greater than that of carbon dioxide [3]. However, the benefits are wider than only mitigating climate change. Burning landfill gas also destroys potentially harmful organic compounds, including methane and non-methane organic compounds (NMOC). When combusted, these organic compounds react with oxygen in the presence of heat and form harmless water vapor, carbon dioxide and other less volatile compounds. In the process, the immediate surroundings are also made more pleasant by reducing odours. Thus, more efficient production of landfill gas is at the same time good for the wallet and for the environment.

[1]: Outlook for biogas and biomethane: Prospects for organic growth
[2]: Natural gas price statistics
[3]: Unece, Sustainable Energy, Methane Management

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