Exemplary reference project for environmental protection and sustainability
KELLER IMS equips tunnel kiln for climate-friendly use of landfill gas as an energy source
Already in 2010, KELLER IMS in Ibbenbüren-Laggenbeck, together with its French mother company Legris Industries, embarked on their sustainability project. The spirit and purpose of this project is to raise and strengthen the awareness of the whole group of companies for an environmentally-conscious and sustainable behaviour in all its activities. In accordance with this new company guideline, all corporate activities shall be guided by the principle that environmental considerations rank equally with social and economical aspects.
How this concept of sustainability can be put into practice and serve as a precedent is demonstrated by KELLER IMS with its current reference project for a kiln modification in an Australian brick plant.
In 2012, the Australian brick manufacturer Austral Brick in Sydney inquired for the first time about the possibility to use landfill gas to heat a tunnel kiln. The old clay pits owned by Austral Bricks were filled with waste during the past years. The landfill gas had to be flared off without recovering its energy. The brick manufacturer Austral Bricks and the landfill site operator Veolia took concerted action to push forward a wise use of the landfill gas. They soon choose KELLER IMS as an appropriate partner to create a technical solution and to carry out its implementation.
For this purpose, KELLER IMS developed a landfill gas blower station that provides the necessary primary pressure for the burner groups of the tunnel kiln and removes the moisture from the landfill gas. Moreover, KELLER IMS converted four burner groups to dual gas burner groups. These four burner groups now enable combustion of 225 m³/h landfill gas with approx. 5.6 KWh/m³N each. Due to this conversion, Austral Brick is now free to choose beween conventional natural gas and landfill gas as their energy resource. After only three weeks' time, the conversion was completed in November last year and the new, environment-friendly plant was set to work. At present already three of the four burner groups are permanently operated with landfill gas. The launch of the fourth burner group will be made very soon. Should the earnings forecasts for the landfill gas be fulfilled, further burner groups will be converted to environment-friendly dual operation. All persons involved were very happy about the excellent cooperation in terms of environmental protection. The plant is a "win-win" for everyone. Due to the rational use of the landfill gas, the CO2 emission will be reduced by at least 3,500 tonnes per year.
Landfill gas is a flammable gas produced in landfills when organic substances degrade. Due to its high methane content, landfill gas is very harmful to the climate when it is released into the atmosphere. Uncontrolled landfills therefore take a leading position amongst the climate-damaging methane producers. Landfill operators are required to capture and to neutralise developing landfill gas. Ideally, landfill gas can be used to produce energy. The specific calorific value of landfill gas is at least about half of that of natural gas.