Landfill Leachate Treatment

Leachate management challenges are mounting as transportation costs increase and sewer treatment plants are beginning to reject leachate or add surcharges to treatment costs. Thus, landfills that ship leachate off site face escalating fees for transportation and treatment along with possible loss of access to sewage treatment plants. In addition to short term risks, each of these factors impact unfavorably on costs of funding mandated 30-year post-closure plans. On-site treatment within Heartland’s LM-HT® Leachate Concentrators using waste heat from landfill flares or exhaust from on-site power-generation plants gives the landfill owner a reliable low-cost solution that can be managed as a predictable monthly expense, even into the post-closure period.

Based on their light weight and compact design, LM-HT® Leachate Concentrators with treatment capacity up to 40,000 gpd can be mounted on skids that are compatible with roll off trucks and easily moved from site to site. Flex-EnergyTM features make the process compatible with almost any combination of renewable fuels and/or waste heat sources. In Heartland’s Gen-Ex® configuration, existing or new landfill gas power plants are seamlessly converted to combined heat and power (CHP) projects as internal combustion engines or turbines supply waste heat to drive the concentration process. In addition to being simple to install and operate, CHP projects immediately and significantly increase the efficiency and overall value of new or existing power plants.

EPA’s Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP) database shows that the market for CHP concentrator projects is quite large. The current list includes 507 total landfill gas power plants in the United States with combined output greater than 1,700 megawatt (MW). Of these, only 27 landfills with combined capacity of less than 85 MW are listed as CHP projects. Given the proven capacity of LM-HT® Concentrators to treat at least 5,200 gallons per day (GPD) of leachate for each MW of power generated[1], waste heat from the approximate 1,615 MW of non-CHP power projects at landfills could treat approximately 8.4 million gpd, or 3,065 million gallons per year of leachate.

[1] 5,200 gpd per MW of electricity is based on typical waste heat energy available from internal combustion (IC) engines. For power plants operating on turbines, which are included as some portion of the LMOP database, this value is significantly higher and typically greater than 8,000 gpd of leachate treatment per MW. Thus, Heartland’s calculated values are low-side conservative estimates of total available leachate treatment capacity.