EPA recognizes La. waste disposal district for biogas project

By Chris Hanson | February 12, 2013

The U.S. EPA 2012 Landfill Methane Outreach Program awarded St. Landry Solid Waste Disposal District the Project of the Year Award for using compressed natural gas (CNG) to power 13 vehicles for the sheriff’s department in St. Landry Parish, La.

Several private companies teamed with the district in developing the system that produces 250 gallons of gasoline equivalent of CNG from 50 standard cubic feet per minute of biogas comprised of 55 to 58 percent methane. The development companies are BioCNG LLC, GT Environmental Finance LLC, Aucoin and Associates, and Franklin Associates. Unison Solutions Inc. manufactured the BioCNG unit, which produces CNG at less than half the cost of a gallon of gasoline for the district.

To turn the landfill gas into a usable product it is sent through a BioCNG conditioning system. The system utilizes sulfa and carbon treatments to remove hydrogen sulfide, siloxane, and other volatile organic compounds. The gas is then sent through a series of filters and membranes to remove carbon and particulates before being chilled and compressed to be used in CNG equipped vehicles.

“On behalf of the district, I am proud to have received this prestigious award,” said Katry Martin, executive director at St. Landry Parish Solid Waste. “We evaluated all the potential beneficial uses for the landfill gas collected at the St. Landry Parish Landfill and determined that the biogas-to-fuel project was the most economical alternative. We are extremely pleased that the efforts of the District and its partners have been recognized.”

Assistant Business Manager of BioCNG, Kay Turgeson, said they are looking to expand wherever they can and currently have two similar projects underway in Sacramento, Calif., and Riverview, Mich.”We’re talking to a lot of people about this option, this possibility,” said Turgeson, “So it’s just a matter of trying to make the connection between the person producing the gas and the fleet who might be utilizing the gas, and bringing it all together.”