Potential for energy recovery and its economic evaluation from a municipal solid wastes landfill in Cape Town
Serutla, Bokhabane Tlotliso Violet
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Landfill gases, principally methane, CH4 are produced from the decomposition of the municipal solid wastes deposited on landfill sites. These gases can be captured and converted into usable energy or electricity which will assist in addressing energy needs of South Africa. Its capture also reduces the problems associated with greenhouse gases. The aim of this study is to estimate gases that can be produced from the Bellville landfill site in Cape Town. The landfill gas capacity was estimated using Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) model. The IPCC model showed that 48 447m3/year of landfill gas capacity was determined only in 2013. The LFGTE process plant is designed in a manner of purifying landfill gas, which at the end methane gets up being the only gas combusted. As a matter of fact 14 544kg/year of gases which consists mainly methane gets combusted. The average energy that can be produced based on the generated landfill gas capacity (methane gas) is 1,004MWh/year. This translates to R1. 05million per year at Eskom’s current tariff of R2.86 /kWh) including sales from CO2 which is a by-product from the designed process plant. A LFGTE process plant has been developed from the gathered information on landfill gas capacity and the amount of energy that can be generated from the gas. In order, to start-up this project the total fixed capital costs of this project required amounted up to R2.5 million. On the other hand, the project made a profit amounted to R3.9million, the Net profit summed up to R1. 3million and the payback time of Landfill Gas ToEnergy (LFGTE) project is 4years.The break-even of the project is on second year of the plant’s operation. The maximum profit that this project can generate is around R1. 1million. The life span of the plant is nine years. Aspen plus indicated that about 87% of pure methane was separated from CO2 and H2S for combustion at theabsorption gas outletstream. I would suggest this project to be done because it is profitable when by-products such as CO2 sales add to the project’s revenues.