An Australian-based sustainable energy company has started converting gas emitted from a Lowellville Landfill into natural gas that can be used for purposes like firing electrical generating plants or heating homes.

EDL and its partners Republic Services, NW Natural Renewables, and Pennant Midwest have completed upgrades to an existing landfill gas-to-energy power plant to a renewable natural gas facility near Republic Services’ Carbon Limestone Landfill.

The Limestone Renewable Natural Gas Facility is designed to process and condition naturally produced gas from decomposing materials in the Carbon Limestone Landfill. The plant is expected to eventually produce 1.7 million British thermal units of pipeline-quality natural gas in 2024, according to the company.

“The Limestone facility is one of the largest plants of its kind in North America. It captures landfill gas that would otherwise be wasted and converts it into renewable natural gas that is a clean fuel source for powering vehicles, heating homes through the natural gas system, or electricity generation,” said Richard DiGia, EDL CEO, North America.

The facility is designed to produce volumes of renewable natural gas comparable to removing the emissions from 13,170 passenger vehicles from our roads each year, according to DiGia.

Republic Services has set sustainability goals to reduce emissions and increase the beneficial reuse of biogas by 2030.

“This project allows us to convert that gas into a lower-carbon fuel source that reduces greenhouse gas emissions,” said Republic Services Area President Chris Nie.

NW Natural Renewables, an RNG business, has agreements in place for a 20-year supply of RNG produced by the facility.

The gas will be transported from the landfill by Pennant Midwest to markets through an existing transmission system.

Dr. Debra Reinhart, an Environmental Engineering Professor Emerita said this process also "accomplishes controlling the gas emissions so the odors are no longer a problem or certainly as big as a problem so it does minimize odors and any adverse impacts on human health that might occur by the release of gases."

The plant captures methane from landfill gas that's created by decomposing waste and Reinhart said it makes more environmental sense to repurpose the gas since it has to be extracted or flared off anyways.