How Larimer County Is Putting Methane Gas to Good Use

September 18 2009, 11:17 AM

Every minute, about 250 cubic feet of methane gas seeps from the Larimer County Landfill into the air, where it contributes to pollution and possibly even climate change. But scientists are seeking to reverse the effects by putting the gas to good use. The methane will be turned into fuel for a 1.4-megawatt power plant that will power roughly 900 homes. The $3 million plant, developed by Timberline Energy, will sell the electricity it generates to Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association, according to the Fort Collins Coloradoan. Construction of the plant began in August and is expected to be completed next spring, reports the Northern Colorado Business Report. Methane gas from landfills is considered about 21 times more harmful to air quality than carbon dioxide, the pollutant most typically cited as a cause of global warming. Meanwhile, local governments across the country are experimenting with ways to convert human-waste-induced methane from sludge into electricity, as Mother Jones detailed in May.