Exemplary reference project for environmental protection and sustainability

Keller HCW converts tunnel kiln for utilization of landfill gas

Back in 2010, Keller HCW, based in Ibbenbüren-Laggenbeck, Germany, joined with its French parent company Legris Industries in launching their “Sustainability” project. Goal of this project is to strengthen and raise awareness over the entire group of companies, so as to ensure they take an environmentally friendly and sustainable approach in all their activities. In accordance with this new corporate guideline, the companies are to consider environmental aspects with the same priority as social and economic aspects.

Using landfill gas at ­Austral Bricks

With its current reference project involving the conversion of a kiln at Austral Bricks in Australia, Keller HCW is demonstrating how this replicable sustainability concept can be realized.

In 2012, Austral Bricks, Sydney, first asked Keller HCW about utilizing landfill gas for its tunnel kiln. In the past few years, Austral Bricks’ old clay pits have been filled with waste. Up to now the landfill gas has not been used as an energy source but flared off. In a concerted action of Austral Bricks and the landfill operator Veolia, the two pushed ahead towards the utilization of the landfill gas. In Keller HCW, a suitable partner was soon found to design a technical solution and realize the project. Keller HCW developed a landfill gas blower station that supplies the necessary primary pressure for the burner groups of the tunnel kiln and dehumidifies the landfill gas. In addition, Keller HCW converted four burner groups to dual-gas burners. These now enable the combustion of 225 m³/h landfill gas per group with around 5.6 kWh/m³N. Thanks to this conversion, in future Austral Bricks can flexibly switch between conventional natural gas and landfill gas as its energy source. After just three weeks conversion work, the new environmentally friendly installation was put into operation in November 2013. Already three of the four burner groups are operated constantly with landfill gas. The fourth burner group is scheduled to be started up soon. If the landfill gas yield forecasts are fulfilled, other burner groups will be converted to environmentally friendly dual operation in the future. All involved are delighted about this exemplary cooperation in environmental protection, as the installation is a win-win situation for everyone. Thanks to the now practical utilization of the landfill gas, the CO2 emissions are reduced by at least 3 500 t per year. 

Landfill gas

Landfill gas is a combustible gas that is formed in landfills during the decomposition of organic substances. On account of its high methane content, emissions of landfill gas into the atmosphere are very damaging for the climate. Landfills with uncontrolled emissions are therefore some of the front-ranking climate-damaging methane producers. Landfill operators are obligated to collect any landfill gas formed and render it harmless. In the ideal case, landfill gas can be used to generate energy. The specific calorific value of landfill gas is around half that of natural gas. 

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