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Landfill Methane Outreach Program

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Project Profile

Solae Direct-Use Project

Memphis, Tennessee
End User(s):
The Solae Company
Food products
South Shelby Landfill
Landfill Size:
24 million tons waste-in-place (2004)
Project Type:
Project Size:
5,000 standard cubic feet per minute (scfm)
Reduction in natural gas consumption
Environmental Benefits:
Carbon sequestered annually by 13,300 acres of pine or fir forests, annual greenhouse gas emissions from 11,900 passenger vehicles, or carbon dioxide emissions from 145,000 barrels of oil consumed. Annual energy savings equate to heating 17,000 homes. Estimated emissions reductions of 0.0170 million metric tons of carbon equivalents.
LMOP Partners Involved:
CPL Systems Inc., Republic Services, Inc., Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation
Last Updated:

Photo of LFG boiler at Solae facility in Tennessee.

Who wants to pay high natural gas prices? Not the largest of The Solae Company's food-ingredient manufacturing plants. Solae invested several million dollars to reconfigure its soy-based food ingredient plant in Memphis to burn landfill gas (LFG) in three boilers, thus taking advantage of a renewable energy source and displacing nearly a quarter of its natural gas consumption.

To make the project work, Solae formed a public-private partnership with Republic Services (then Allied Waste), Memphis Light Gas and Water (MLGW), and CPL Systems. The project took only one year from proposal to startup. CPL Systems worked with Republic to increase gas recovery at South Shelby Landfill and automate control of LFG between the flares and the pipeline. MLGW did its part by installing a 5-mile, 12' HDPE line in just 91 days.

The project's highlights include the following:

  • Blowers and gas control equipment rated at 5,000 scfm and designed to handle increasing LFG flows over the next 25 years.
  • Real time process, equipment, and LFG utilization data are available through a computer-control system for monitoring and off-site correction.
  • Continuous control equipment adjusts the flow of LFG to the boilers, seamlessly transitioning fuel flow in as little as 30 seconds.
  • Nitrogen oxides reductions of 75 percent.

The conversion realizes the goal of less reliance on fossil fuels, coupled with long-term cost savings. This project demonstrates how public and private entities, working toward a common goal, can effectively and efficiently implement projects that productively use LFG.

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