Methane from landfills is a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., but in the past decade many landfills have become energy producers, trapping the methane (CH4) before it escapes and utilizing it to produce electricity on site. IEM pairs the use of wells with several patented capture layers to both increase production and the amount of CH4 collected.
Augenstein estimates that about 3 million homes could be powered by methane if all the U.S. landfills adopted his technology.
Back in the 80's, Don Augenstein was one of the early pioneers researching methane "bioreactors" and recently spun out his R&D nonprofit into a for-profit venture. If you want to dive into all the scientific details, you can check out his IEM powerpoint.
Image: Utah State University
The opinions expressed by MNN Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of MNN.com. While we have reviewed their content to make sure it complies with our Terms and Conditions, MNN is not responsible for the accuracy of any of their information.