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Summary: The Sermonde landfill receives municipal solid waste (MSW) from Vila Nova de Gaia and Santa Maria da Feira municipalities. The landfill exists since 1999, with a capacity to accept around 1.5 million tonnes of MSW and it is managed by SULDOURO SA. The use of biogas, which is a natural result of the decomposition of organic matter, to produce electricity and heat, was not considered since the beginning, but implemented after an assessment made by ENERGAIA (Gaia Municipal Energy Agency). This assessment was focused on the evaluation of the energy potential of the biogas and on the economic feasibility of the process. Due to the results obtained, SULDOURO decided to start with the design and the implementation of an energy production central that converts the biogas produced in the landfill to electricity and heat.
The electricity produced is sold to the national electricity grid and the heat generated is used to space and water heating.
This project offers the landfill management huge economic benefits and increases the environmental quality of the installation, due to the more efficient extraction of the biogas and due to the reduction of local greenhouse gases emissions.
Aims: A municipal solid waste landfill is an opportunity to increase the rates of decentralized energy production from renewable energies, contributing, also, to the goals of greenhouse gases reduction. Another important goal achieved with the installation of this system was the decrease of the energy invoice, due to the use of the biogas to produce heat used in the installations. It is important to refer that all of the electricity produced is sold to the national electricity grid because the selling price is higher that the purchase price.
Summary of Results: The use of biogas, which is a natural result of the decomposition of organic matter of the landfill, to produce heat and electricity has many advantages at environmental and economical level. For the environment, this system contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gases emissions and of the consumption of fossil fuels. The production and use of energy in the same place results in an improvement of the energy efficiency.
Regarding the economic side, the use of biogas to produce heat and electricity reduces the energetic invoice and because the electricity produced is sold to the national grid, the plant earns some money since this electricity is sold at a higher price that it is bought.
At environmental level, besides the reduction of the use of fossil fuels, the use of biogas results in a decrease of greenhouse gases emissions, due to the non emission of methane and also due to the use of biogas in opposition of natural gas to produce heat.
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T@W: Sustainable Energy Technology at Work (2006-2008) : Bioconversion of Biomass : Biogas : Biomass and Bioenergy : Heat Generation, Recovery and Use : Power Generation and Use : Renewable Energy Technologies