Potential for Power Output From Tehran Landfills

Potential for Power Output From Tehran LandfillsPotential for Power Output From Tehran Landfills

Tehran Province can potentially produce up to 2,400 megawatts of electricity annually by collecting methane gas emissions from landfills, Tehran Department of Environment’s technical deputy head said.

“In view of the province’s 12,000 tons of daily waste materials, about 438 million cubic meters of methane are estimated to be released per annum, which can generate 2,400 MW of electricity in Tehran Province,” Mostafa Sarmadi was also quoted as saying by Shana.

Landfill gas is a complex mix of different gases created by the action of microorganisms within a landfill. Landfill gas is approximately 40% to 60% methane, with the remainder being mostly carbon dioxide.

The capture and use of landfill gas can be expensive. Some environmental groups claim that the projects do not produce renewable power because trash is not renewable. They argue that governments’ incentives should be directed more towards solar, wind and energy-efficiency efforts.

 “Tehran Municipality had earlier implemented an experimental plan on producing methane registered as a Clean Development Mechanism [project based on the 1997 Kyoto Protocol], but it has so far not been mass produced, which we hope would materialize as soon as possible,” he said.

Experts say gas extraction from Kahrizak landfill, which is the sole center of waste disposal in the city of Tehran, will not only improve the quality of air and environmental standards in the area but can also be a good source of revenue for Tehran Municipality.

To accomplish such projects, it would be essential to have a sound plan for producing gas from landfills.

Iran has the capacity to generate more than 10,000 MW of electricity via biomass, with 25 cities in the country capable of generating at least 400 MW of electricity from waste material.

Close to 20 million tons of waste are produced every year in Iran on average and 100 tons of waste per day are adequate to run a 2-MW power plant.