At a landfill, especially those with higher organic content, a series of chemical and biological reactions occur that produce biogas, heat, and leachates. Given the energy use of these flows, the production of biogas has been widely studied, and today, there are efficient systems for its capture and energy use. However, the heat production associated with biological activity inside a landfill is not as well-documented. This involves a large amount of energy in the form of heat, which dissipates through the soil and air over the years, without being used at all. On the other hand, the treatment of leachate generated in turn entails one of the main operating costs at a controlled site that often requires a large amount of thermal energy, depending on the type of process applied.
The GEOTERMABOK project aims to implement the viability of using geothermal-based systems, typically applied to soils, to extract the heat generated inside the controlled waste tank. The project will also include analyzing the potential uses of this heat, including its application in activities associated with the very management of the landfill, like in treating leachates, as well as for other applications beyond the facility.
Implementing geothermal systems to recover the heat generated at the controlled site has a number of environmental benefits, such as improving the energy efficiency of landfill management and operation activities; saving on the fossil fuels used and thus contributing to energy diversification; and lowering greenhouse gas emissions and the activity’s carbon footprint.
In addition, the GEOTERMABOK project will enable the various business units to reduce their operating costs and contribute to generating f a local industry with a high technological value.
- Location: Els Hostalets de Pierola and Sta. Ma de Palautordera Landfills (Barcelona)
- Execution: 2019-2020
- Funding: project co-funded by the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) in the framework of the ERDF operational program in Catalonia.