Hydrogen, Natural Gas, Electricity, and Heat From Landfill Gas: Integration of Emerging Technologies for a Quad-Generation Demonstration Project

Utilizing landfill gas (LFG) for bioenergy production is difficult. Not only is the gas saturated with water and high in hydrogen sulfide, it also contains contaminants from a list of over 300 troublesome chemicals, including siloxanes, which can impair or disable equipment operation. Despite these challenges, a robust LFG cleanup system, invented and developed by Acrion Technologies, Inc. (Acrion), has been demonstrated at the Rutgers EcoComplex to clean LFG to acceptable levels for the FuelCell Energy, Inc. (FCE) molten carbonate "Direct Fuel Cell". Acrion's smallest commercial scale LFG cleanup system treats 300 standard cubic feet per minute (scfm) of raw LFG at 50% methane content to produce 150 scfm of clean methane - enough methane to power the fuel cell (approximately 50 scfm) and produce compressed natural gas (CNG) for transportation fuel (approximately 100 scfm or about 1150 gasoline gallons equivalent per day). Acrion's LFG cleanup process can also recover food-grade liquid CO₂ as a coproduct. FCE's 300 kW fuel cell can also produce up to 150 kg per day of excess hydrogen gas that, at an experimental level, has been cleaned to pure hydrogen. Using proven Linde, Incorporated technology, the cleaned methane and hydrogen can then be compressed and dispensed as transportation fuel. Electricity and heat from the fuel cell will be used by the equipment and the EcoComplex building. Excess electricity will be exported to the local power grid. The overall goal of this project is to perform an Engineering, Environmental, and Economic Analysis of an integrated system of these emerging technologies that will utilize landfill gas to produce hydrogen, compressed natural gas, electricity, heat and possibly liquid carbon dioxide. The final product will be a report that can be used by project developers for financing and building a demonstration system at the Rutgers EcoComplex and for commercializing the integrated system at landfills and anaerobic digesters throughout the US. The EcoComplex's close proximity to Interstates 95 and 295 makes it an ideal location to dispense fuel for the proposed "Route 95 Hydrogen Highway". LFG and anaerobic digester gas are an abundant, renewable fuel resources in the Northeastern USA. Transportation fuels produced by this system will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through cleaner burning engine technology, as compared with gasoline and diesel engines.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Program Information: Advanced Research, Biobased Research


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    Department of Transportation
    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Johnson, Shawn

  • Performing Organizations:

    Rutgers University, New Brunswick

    New Brunswick, NJ  United States  08901
  • Principal Investigators:

    Specca, David

  • Start Date: 20090701
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20110930
  • Source Data: RiP Project 25224

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01572259
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Northeast Sun Grant Institute
  • Files: RiP
  • Created Date: Aug 4 2015 1:02AM