ERG supports Appalachian Energy Center’s research of landfill biogas projects

BOONE, N.C. — Stan Steury, program manager of the Appalachian Energy Center (AEC) at Appalachian State University, and Jason Hoyle, research analyst for the AEC, received $20,154 in funding from the Eastern Research Group (ERG) Inc. for conducting research into and documenting innovative international biogas projects with exceptional social benefits.

According to Steury, the Appalachian Energy Center has been contracted by the Environmental Research Group to promote the concept of community-based landfill gas projects worldwide for the benefit of communities near landfills through the Global Methane Initiative (GMI).

He said the center has used this community-based approach in working with landfills in North Carolina and several other states. One such project includes the Yancey/Mitchell County Landfill that enables artists to use landfill gas for pottery kilns and glass blowing.

“The Energy Center believes that there is great potential to use landfill gas being generated by decomposing garbage in landfills to fuel value-added processing of recyclables gleaned from the waste stream by waste pickers who are present in countries worldwide, which will assist these vulnerable people in raising their standard of living,” Steury said.

He noted, as part of the current contract with ERG, the Energy Center will identify and document existing community-based landfill gas projects worldwide.

“Under direction from EPA and ERG, the Energy Center will also provide technical assistance for a previously planned, innovative, community-based landfill gas project in Maracanaú, in Ceará, Brazil,” said Steury.

“This project was previously funded by two Global Methane Initiative cooperative agreements through which the Energy Center worked with municipalities in Brazil to support the development of a community-based landfill gas project, which benefited local waste pickers at the landfill, as well as the community in which they reside. The project has been sidelined recently by the current economic and political crisis in Brazil.”

In his commentary on goals for the project, Steury said the partnership between the ERG and the AEC aims to fine-tune and promote the community-based landfill gas model with GMI partners; identify several other landfills with high potential for community-based landfill gas projects in GMI partner countries where Appalachian’s Office of International Education and Development has strong interest; and work to implement one of these projects as a pilot.

Original article posted here.

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