From the New York Times:
But that flare, burning off methane created by decomposing garbage, poses a potentially lethal threat to unsuspecting birds that pass through it. Larger birds have been found with singed wings, unable to fly or fend for themselves. Bird-watchers believe that smaller ones are simply incinerated...
Mr. Aberback said the authority had plans to capture methane at another of its landfills, but that was “not currently a viable option for the Kingsland Landfill flare.”The Fish and Wildlife Service says the authority has already followed through on some of its suggestions, like removing a number of possible perches for birds around the flame. A local electric company has agreed to take out or retrofit power lines and other equipment to make them less attractive to migrating birds. Finding a way to make the flare visible to birds is among the other ideas officials say are being explored.
Because it's impossible to recycle energy into something usable in America? That's just insane.ReplyDelete
Alphabet Energy (based in Newark, CA, USA) produce a "Power Generating Combustor" that is designed to fit flare stacks and generate electricity directly. It can produce power and reduce emissions without the need to store methane. Possibly an option for such sites?ReplyDelete
Aaannndd putting a cage around the hottest part of the flame won't work because....?ReplyDelete
I would bet that raptors would try to land on the cage, so it would have to be huge. I wondered about venting/burning the methane inside a closed structure like a barn. But then I suppose you'd have a barnful of CO2, which would asphyxiate small rodents getting in.Delete
The flare is there to support the excess gas produced. Landfill gas production varies wildly and it is not feasible to install a large enough generator to handle the most peak production and still handle the short production.ReplyDelete
The flame is huge when the flare is lit. Quite literally 20 feet high or more and it whips around the sides of the flare top. There isn't a cage large enough to enclose it without enclosing the entire facility up to about 50 feet in height. Even then the birds would land on the enclosure and bake.
Landfill gas extraction has made significant strides in the past twenty years, but it is still a very young industry that can be made better with more efficient methods as they become available.
Source: I built and installed gas extraction systems for landfills for many years. I have quite a few installations in Minnesota of my equipment.
Thank you, rip, for a definitive response. Much appreciated.Delete