GE’s landfill gas engine tech powers waste-to-energy project in Latin America

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GE’s Distributed Power business said commissioning for three of its Jenbacher gas engines is expected to take place this month at Estre Ambiental’s landfill in Guatapara City, São Paulo, Brazil.

Once the renewable energy facility begins commercial operation in May, it will be the first waste-to-energy project at an Estre landfill, one of the largest municipal solid waste operations in Latin America.

Under the scope of the project, GE will provide three 1.4 MW J420 Jenbacher gas engines for an estimated total output of 4.2 MW, with the potential to be expanded to 10 MW in the next five years. The current configuration may produce enough energy to support about 13,000 average Brazilian homes.

GE’s fuel-flexible gas engines are powered by landfill gas, which is created from solid waste decompositiong and then recovered as a valuable renewable fuel.

GE’s Jenbacher landfill gas engines use the gas — consisting of methane, carbon dioxide and nitrogen — created during the decomposition of organic substances in a landfill. Methane has a global warming factor 21 times greater than carbon dioxide, the most widely recognized greenhouse gas affecting climate change.

The new Estre Ambiental landfill project supports the initiatives of the Brazilian government to increase the production of electricity from renewable sources and may reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by between 36.1 and 38.9 percent from projected amounts in 2020.

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