LIFE Project Cover Photo

Innovative Methods for Residual Landfill Gas Emissions Mitigation in Mediterranean Regions

Reference: LIFE14 CCM/IT/000464 | Acronym: LIFE RE Mida

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

BACKGROUND

The generation of LandFill Gases (LFG), which are produced by the anaerobic decomposition of the organic waste fraction in landfills, is a major environmental challenge for climate change mitigation. The process naturally occurs in covered landfill once CH4 and oxygen (O2) counter gradients are in place. The behaviour and performance of this process is affected by several local climate factors, such as temperature and water content in the landfill covers.

The waste management sector was the fourth largest sector in the EU-15 in terms of its contribution to total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions despite significant improvements (40% emission reduction) from 1990 to 2012. LFG is mainly composed of methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2), and its production lasts for several decades until the majority of the organic material is fully degraded. Both gases are powerful GHGs, with CH4 having a very high global warming potential, remaining a long time in the atmosphere. Although large GHG emission reductions in the waste disposal sector have been achieved by cutting CH4 emissions, CH4 still accounts for around two-thirds of waste-related emissions./p>


OBJECTIVES

The RE Mida projects overall objective was to demonstrate the technical, economic and environmental suitability of an innovative method to treat LFG with low calorific value through microbial CH4 oxidation to reduce its contribution to the greenhouse effect. Specifically, the project aimed to:

  • test an innovative technique to promote CH4 oxidation for the first time in a Mediterranean climate; and
  • demonstrate the efficacy of microbial CH4 oxidation systems for the mitigation of non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs) and odorous compound emissions with particular reference to hydrogen sulphide (H2S).
  • The project results would stimulate the implementation and upgrade of the EU Landfill Directive, with particular reference to the treatment of LFG with low calorific value that is technically and/or economically unsuitable using conventional technology.


    RESULTS

    The LIFE RE Mida project demonstrated the technical and economic viability of two technologies implemented for the biological oxidation of landfill biogas with low calorific value. The team showed that bio-oxidation techniques, under specific conditions have high oxidation performance and low lifecycle impacts while being lower in cost than conventional technology (flaring).

    Specifically, the team demonstrated that the two tested pilot systems biofiltration and biowindows consistently achieve efficiency rates higher than 80% in the oxidation of methane and above 90% in the abatement of odorous compounds. The project further showed that developed technologies yield a range of environmental benefits: global warming, photochemical oxidation and acidification are reduced by at least 60% in the worse-case scenario assessed.

    The project team also demonstrated that the risk associated with emissions of carcinogen compounds was reduced on average by 72%, while the cumulative risk associated with emissions of hazardous non-carcinogen compounds was reduced on average by 90% and the nuisance effects due to malodorous pollutants was reduced on average by 70%. Using the tested passive bio-filtering technologies can also reduce the cost of landfill post treatment by 34-61% depending on the size of the landfill; higher savings are achieved for small-size landfills when compared to a conventional combustion system.

    The resultsThe LIFE RE Mida project demonstrated the technical and economic viability of two technologies implemented for the biological oxidation of landfill biogas with low calorific value. The team showed that bio-oxidation techniques, under specific conditions have high oxidation performance and low lifecycle impacts while being lower in cost than conventional technology (flaring).

    Specifically, the team demonstrated that the two tested pilot systems biofiltration and biowindows consistently achieve efficiency rates higher than 80% in the oxidation of methane and above 90% in the abatement of odorous compounds. The project further showed that developed technologies yield a range of environmental benefits: global warming, photochemical oxidation and acidification are reduced by at least 60% in the worse-case scenario assessed.

    The project team also demonstrated that the risk associated with emissions of carcinogen compounds was reduced on average by 72%, while the cumulative risk associated with emissions of hazardous non-carcinogen compounds was reduced on average by 90% and the nuisance effects due to malodorous pollutants was reduced on average by 70%. Using the tested passive bio-filtering technologies can also reduce the cost of landfill post treatment by 34-61% depending on the size of the landfill; higher savings are achieved for small-size landfills when compared to a conventional combustion system.

    The results

    ADMINISTRATIVE DATA


    Reference: LIFE14 CCM/IT/000464
    Acronym: LIFE RE Mida
    Start Date: 01/01/2016
    End Date: 31/12/2018
    Total Budget: 855,612 €
    EU Contribution: 513,366 €
    Project Location:
    Project Website: http://www.unifi.it

    CONTACT DETAILS


    Coordinating Beneficiary: UNIVERSIT DEGLI STUDI DI FIRENZE - Dipartimento di Ingegneria Industriale
    Legal Status: PAT
    Address: Piazza San marco, 4, 50121, Firenze, Italia
    Contact Person: Isabella PECORINI
    Email: isabella.pecorini@unipi.it
    Tel: +39 050 2217926
    Fax:


    LIFE Project Map

    ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES ADDRESSED

    THEMES

    • GHG reduction in non EU ETS sectors

    KEYWORDS

    • emission reduction
    • greenhouse gas
    • volatile organic compound
    • odour nuisance
    • landfill

    TARGET EU LEGISLATION

    • Directive 1999/31 - Landfill of waste (26.04.1999)
    • Directive 2008/98 - Waste and repealing certain Directives (Waste Framework Directive) (19.11.2008)

    BENEFICIARIES

    Name Type
    UNIVERSIT DEGLI STUDI DI FIRENZE - Dipartimento di Ingegneria Industriale Coordinator
    SienaAmb(Siena Ambiente SpA), Italy Participant
    RT(Regione Toscana), Italy Participant
    CSAI(CENTRO SERVIZI AMBIENTE IMPIANTI SPA), Italy Participant

    Back