Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Visit to city landfill a gas

Methane-capture project underway

  • Print
From left, Gord Mackintosh, Sam Katz and Irvin Slike take a tour following an announcement of the completion of the methane gas collection system at Brady Road.

DAVID LIPNOWSKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

From left, Gord Mackintosh, Sam Katz and Irvin Slike take a tour following an announcement of the completion of the methane gas collection system at Brady Road. Photo Store

GARBAGE rotting at the Brady Road Landfill is generating gas of a sufficient quality to generate electricity or serve as heating fuel.

Engineers in charge of the long-delayed methane-capture project at the City of Winnipeg landfill say they're confident the gas will eventually have a commercial use.

Three weeks ago, the landfill began flaring off methane collected at the landfill at a rate of 1,000 cubic feet per minute, which is enough gas to heat at least 1,500 homes.

The $7-million city-provincial project, originally announced in 2002, called for the captured methane to be used as fuel.

'This will be the warmest spot in Winnipeg. You'll find songbirds taking refuge here'

-- Irvin Slike

The city remains on track to achieve that goal, once a year of testing is conducted to ensure there is enough high-quality gas flowing out of the dump to satisfy a potential private-sector partner, project manager Irvin Slike said Monday.

"Once you know what you have, then you're in a position to sit down and negotiate with a partner," Slike said following a media event that saw Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz and Manitoba Conservation Minister Gord Mackintosh praise the project.

Earlier attempts to find a private-sector partner to use the methane failed because both sides could only guess at the quality and quantity of the landfill gas, he explained.

Methane is the byproduct of anaerobic decomposition, the process by which organic material breaks down in an environment with no oxygen. As a greenhouse gas, methane is considered more than 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide, which is the byproduct of aerobic decomposition.

Given the potential harm posed by methane, simply burning off the gas is preferable to allowing it to rise into the air from a landfill. Hence the construction of the flaring tower at Brady Road.

Over the past year, the city has dug 42 methane wells into closed-off sections of the landfill and buried seven kilometres of underground pipes to carry the gas to a flaring tower. The gas is then consumed at 871 C in the only enclosed flare in Manitoba, Slike said.

Three separate temperature gauges ensure no methane escapes from the tower, which will generate enough heat this winter to keep a small section of Brady Road free of snow.

"This will be the warmest spot in Winnipeg," he said of the gravel pad around the flaring tower. "You'll find songbirds taking refuge here."

The gas consumed by the flare, according to preliminary tests, is 53 per cent methane, Slike said. That's eight per cent above the minimum requirement to use landfill gas as fuel.

But even if the gas is simply flared off, the capture project will still eliminate the equivalent of 20,000 automobiles worth of greenhouse-gas emissions, Katz and Mackintosh said.

The flare should also reduce the odours emanating from the landfill, the mayor said.

bartley.kives@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 24, 2013 A3

History

Updated on Tuesday, September 24, 2013 at 7:58 AM CDT: replaces photo

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

On the job with sea lion researchers

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press.  Local- (Standup Photo). Watcher in the woods. A young deer peers from the forest while eating leaves by Cricket Drive in Assiniboine Park. A group of eight deer were seen in the park. 060508.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Are you concerned about the death of a seal at the Assiniboine Park Zoo?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google