Landfill gas emissions monitoring systems: what they are and how to choose them

April 4, 2023
Landfill gas emissions monitoring, a task where Kunak solutions prove their worth

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Landfill sites are a materialisation of a consumption model noted for the enormous amount of waste it generates.

These installations can result in unpleasant odours, but deploying landfill gas emissions monitoring systems is the solution for reducing the nuisance caused by releasing gases in nearby residential areas.

By effectively monitoring and mitigating these emissions, we can alleviate this problem.

 

How do landfill sites produce gases?

When organic waste decomposes in landfills it produces a mixture of gases that have a significant impact on the environment

  • increasing global warming as a result of greenhouse gases, and
  • releasing gases that cause distress as a result of their foul odour.

The most important greenhouse gases in landfills are carbon dioxide (CO2) and, in particular, methane (CH4). This gas has a shorter life than CO2 (about 12 years). But its ability to trap solar radiation and aggravate the greenhouse effect is much greater.

Methane is also a nuisance odour. But it is not the only gas contributing to this odour pollution. Gases such as ammonia (NH3) or hydrogen sulphide (H2S) are also characterised by a foul odour, indicating the presence of a waste disposal or treatment facility.

 

What are the benefits of landfill gas emissions monitoring?

Community legislation and national legislation in the Member States (in the case of the European Union) regulate the disposal of waste in landfills and treatment plant operations, composting, energy recovery, etc., and one of the aspects to be taken into account is the monitoring of landfill emissions.

How can this landfill gas emissions monitoring and waste treatment facilities be improved? Through a perimeter network of sensors that assess air quality in areas close to the landfill, monitoring the concentration of gases such as CH4, H2S, CO2 and NH3.

Landfill gas emissions monitoring, a task where Kunak solutions prove their worth

 

Benefits of deploying sensor networks for landfill gas control

As we have discussed on other occasions, solutions such as sensor networks equipped with Kunak AIR Pro and Kunak AIR Lite stations, combined with our Kunak AIR Cloud platform, reinforce the controls established by current legislation. In other words, they do not replace but complement them by providing a more detailed and complete picture of the impact on air quality.

What are the benefits of continuous landfill gas monitoring systems?

  • Identify the main sources of contamination and critical points.
  • Assist in complying with environmental regulations.
  • Reduce public nuisance and improve public health by identifying which gases are being released.
  • Minimise problems caused by high noise levels.
  • Make decisions based on reliable and highly visual data so that the most appropriate action can be taken to correct the situation.
  • Reduce long-term costs, as implementing measures based on informed decisions reduces penalties and potential litigation.
  • Receive technical support due to the continuous assistance offered by Kunak, which provides answers to any questions that may arise and carries out preventive maintenance of the stations.

Our stations can monitor the most common landfill emissions, including methane. The new cartridge for measuring CH4 concentration adds to the existing ones. Together, they are one of the key components of our innovative measurement technology.

In addition, the possibility of attaching probes provides information on variables such as wind, rain or noise pollution, giving a more complete picture of the situation at a given time and place.

 

Pinto, a municipality that has opted for Kunak monitoring technology

The municipality of Pinto (Madrid) is one of the latest cities to opt for our solutions to strengthen its surveillance system.

Pinto’s needs in relation to air quality measurement address two specific issues:

  • The demarcation of the future Low Emission Zone (LEZ) in compliance with the Law 7/2021 of 20 May, on climate change and energy transition, and the Royal Decree 1052/2022 of 27 December, which regulates low emission zones. In this respect, Kunak has become one of the leading providers of solutions to meet this need.
  • The proximity of an urban waste landfill has made Pinto one of the first municipalities to benefit from the methane monitoring cartridge.

In summary, landfill gas is a major problem that requires an effective solution.

Kunak’s air quality monitoring systems can help to measure pollution levels, control odours and reduce the noise levels produced by these facilities, thereby improving the quality of life for employees and surrounding communities.

Its ability to provide real-time information, as well as to facilitate decision-making, reinforce normal controls and avoid penalties and fines, translates into cost savings in the long run and makes it an option to consider.

If you are responsible for the management of a waste landfill and you want not only to protect the environment but also to improve your public image and your relationship with the local community, please contact us for personalised advice.