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Landfill Methane Outreach Program

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Project Profile

Altamont Landfill Gas to Liquefied Natural Gas Project

LMOP Award Winner
Livermore, California
End User(s):
Waste Management, Inc. (WM)
Solid Waste and Remediation
Altamont Sanitary Landfill
Landfill Size:
36.8 million tons waste-in-place (2004)
Project Type:
Alternative Fuel (liquefied natural gas)
Project Size:
2,500 standard cubic feet per minute (scfm)
Environmental Benefits:
Carbon sequestered annually by 9,300 acres of pine or fir forests, annual greenhouse gas emissions from 8,400 passenger vehicles, or carbon dioxide emissions from 101,600 barrels of oil consumed. Annual energy savings equate to heating 8,500 homes. Estimated emissions reductions of 0.0119 million metric tons of carbon equivalents.
LMOP Partners Involved:
California Energy Commission (CEC), Cornerstone Environmental Group, LLC, Guild Associates, Inc., Linde LLC, Waste Management, Inc.
Last Updated:

Photo of three tanks that can store 45,000 gallons of LNG for use by garbage trucks.

On November 2, 2009, WM officially opened a high-tech fuel plant that demonstrates the viability of landfill gas (LFG) as an alternative transportation fuel. Each day, the plant processes 3 million cubic feet of LFG, yielding 13,000 gallons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) that will fuel 300 garbage trucks. The plant is one of the largest LFG-to-LNG plants in the world and will supply 4 million gallons of LNG per year.

The project's opening follows nearly 10 years of research and development between WM and project partner Linde North America. Linde built the plant based on technology patented by the Gas Research Institute. WM and Linde expect the project to demonstrate and validate the technology and its positive environmental impact.

Using LNG in WM garbage trucks replaces the need for about 2.5 million gallons of diesel fuel per year. Considering greenhouse gas emissions from production to consumption, LFG-to-LNG emits about one-seventh of the greenhouse emissions of diesel fuel, resulting in a very low-carbon transportation fuel. In addition, the LNG-powered garbage trucks emit significantly less particulate matter and nitrogen oxides.

The $15.5 million project meets California directives to advance biomass as a transportation fuel and to reduce the state's greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020. Thus, four state agencies committed up to $2.4 million to this project. The project is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 30,000 tons per year.

As California continues to move forward with its nation-leading policies to fight global warming, we need a diverse, dependable and environmentally sound mix of energy supplies to meet the needs of our people and our economy. I am pleased to see the market responding as California continues to attract and grow more clean-tech and green-tech businesses and projects just like this liquefied natural gas facility that will provide consumers with a cleaner-burning, alternative fuel source. —California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

The opening of [one of] the world's largest LFG-to-LNG plant[s] right here in California is a milestone and a testament to our commitment to reduce GHG emissions. Now that the technology has been proven, we look forward to seeing its adoption spread so more vehicles can run on garbage. —Linda Adams, Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency

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