Nothing is useless: Energy from garbage
The Lahore (Pakishatan)Waste Management Company (LWMC) successfully launched its first ever gas flaring project at closed dumpsite Mahmood Booti. It is the oldest dump site located at Ring Road, operational since 1998. The LWMC head of communication Jamil Khawar told The Express Tribune that the company has successfully completed this project. Now the company would showcase this project to the government to seek funds for rolling out the similar project on a large scale. He indicated that the city has good potential to produce energy from garbage. The estimated area of dumpsite is around 320 kanals (40 acres). This site exhausted its capacity and attained the height of about 80 feet from the ground level, therefore, the dumping was closed in April 2016. According to an estimate, approximately 13.14 million tonnes of waste has been dumped at Mahmood Booti. The biodegradable fraction of dumped waste is 55% to 60%. The LWMC has taken an initiative for plantation on front façade of dumpsite facing Ring Road as a pilot project. Till now LWMC has planted 14,500 plants of different species on front elevation covering an area of approximately 20,000 metres square. The plantation has been done after necessary cutting and levelling of the area. The LWMC has taken an initiative to access the dumpsite’s gas potential on southeastern side of the dumpsite. During the trial project gas from four gas vents already installed at dumpsite was collected and transported through 900 feet long gas pipeline to one point for testing and flaring. From June 13, 2018, 1m3 dumpsite gas is continuously captured and flared on daily basis. For demonstration, the LWMC has installed necessary apparatus including a two-burner stove and a gas lamp in allied office to flare the gas round the clock. A single tree can absorb CO2 at a rate of 21.7 kilograms per year. The gas vents installed at dumpsite are releasing approximately one cubic metre gas in 24 hours which is almost equal to eight kilograms CO2 per day and 2,920 kilograms of CO2 per year. This means by flaring only 365 m3/year methane gas, LWMC is protecting the environment same as done by 138 trees in a year. It is estimated that dumpsite has the potential to supply the combustible gas for at least next seven to 10 years. There are some possible opportunities for dumpsite gas utilisation like collected dumpsite gas can be supplied to autoclave facility as a substitute of natural gas for steam generation through the boiler. The generated steam would then be utilised for sterilisation of hospital waste. The same dumpsite gas can also be supplied to LWMC nearby facility to fulfill its electricity needs. The dumpsite gas can be also be utilised as a substitute fuel of CNG in vehicles after treatment and purification.