In many cases, the availability of alternative fuels provides customers with an economically beneficial fuel compared to purchasing traditional fuels such as natural gas or distillate oil. With our robust range of gas engines, and a fleet of gas turbines larger than all of its competitors combined, GE has more operational experience handling, treating, and burning alternative fuels as well as understanding the relative maintenance impacts of their use.

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Landfill Gas

Created during the decomposition of organic substances, landfill gas consists of methane, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen. The controlled collection and combustion of this problem gas is an indispensable step in the modern operation and re-cultivation of a landfill site. In addition, the high calorific value of landfill gas makes it a viable fuel for gas engines that can be effectively used for power generation. With more than 25 years of experience in the combustion of landfill gas throughout the world, GE’s Jenbacher gas engines provide an excellent solution for using your waste gas as an energy source.


Landfill Gas to Electricity: How it Works

Municipal waste contains about 150 to 250 kg of organic carbon per ton. These substances are biologically degradable and are converted by microorganisms into landfill gas. Stable, anaerobic methane fermentation begins one to two years after the waste is deposited in the landfill.

Landfill gas is created during the decomposition of the organic substances in Municipal Solid Waste (MSW). Depending on the landfill design and its management, as well as waste composition, compaction, moisture and several other factors, thousands of landfills are available to collect and utilize this valuable energy source for landfill gas to energy solutions. 

The broad range of Jenbacher landfill gas engines is specifically designed to run at full load with high efficiency, despite a low heating value and fluctuations of gas quality and pressure. The high quality and specially designed engine parts resist the impurities that usually appear in this type of fuel. 

In landfill gas to electricity solutions, before the landfill gas can be fed into the gas engines, it needs to be dried and compressed. Severe contaminants such as siloxanes should be removed if exceeding a certain level. Not only will these measures considerably increase the availability, but they also will reduce the O&M engine costs. Since landfills are usually located near big cities, emission standards are becoming more and more rigid in many countries. To comply with those standards, the whole system must be managed, beginning with the fuel gas conditioning up to the installation of an exhaust treatment device, if needed. 

GE is committed to not only supplying the gas engines, but also offering auxiliary equipment and giving support for an integrated solution – from the gas flange to the grid connection for landfill gas power generation solutions. 

Features & Benefits

Jenbacher landfill gas engines are specially designed to run at full load with high efficiency, despite a low heating value and fluctuations of gas quality and pressure. High quality engine parts resist impurities that usually appear in this type of fuel.

  • Mitigation of greenhouse gas (methane) and possible carbon monetization
  • Revenues for power production, when fed into the public grid
  • Alternative disposal of a problem gas while simultaneously harnessing it as an energy source
  • Low weight containerized units that are easy to move and adjust to changing project capacity
  • Smooth operation despite low heating value and fluctuations in gas composition and pressure
  • Standard electrical efficiency of up to 42 percent and up to 90 percent in the case of combined heat and power
  • CL.AIR integrated emission control solution complies with country-specific standards

Waste Gas

GE’s Jenbacher gas engines provide the solution to the rising energy costs that wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) operators have historically had to pay to meet their discharge permit requirements. Our gas engines efficiently and reliably convert sewage gas into electricity in plants that use anaerobic digestion for biosolids treatment. The process covers up to 80 percent of a plant’s electricity needs and makes it unnecessary to burn fossil fuels for heating.


How It Works

  • On average, about 1 MW of electricity can be generated from biosolids for every 25-30 MGD of treated wastewater. Several active installations fueled by sewage gas show the generation potential of the GE solution.
  • In Tirol, Austria, two Jenbacher gas engines, a J208 and a J312, power and heat a facility that provides 120 percent of its energy demand and sends the excess power to the local grid.
  • Two J316 engines provide 1.7 MW of renewable energy for a facility in Portland, Oregon. The electrical output meets about 40 percent of the plant’s electricity demand.
  • A cogeneration plant in Spain uses three Jenbacher J620 gas engines to produce 8 MW of power – more than four times the norm for a standard biogas plant.
  • Three more J620 units enable a plant in Santiago Basin, Chile, to produce up to 60 percent of its power with renewable electricity.

Features & Benefits

  • LEANOX controls with turbo charger bypass help ensure the correct air-to-gas ratio to lessen exhaust gas emissions while maintaining stable engine operation.
  • Electrical efficiency of up to 43 percent reduces the need to purchase energy from the public grid.
  • A fully developed monitoring function, including remote monitoring, creates high levels of reliability.
  • Maintenance intervals—60,000 operating hours for major overhauls and 30,000 for cylinder heads—cut maintenance costs.
  • Seamless dual fuel mixing evens out gas production fluctuations by supplementing natural gas as needed.
  • High power engine density reduces space requirements and installation costs.
  • The low-vibration engine has negligible impact on buildings.

Coal Mine Gas

Released methane gas from underground coal mines forms a highly explosive mixture when combined with air. This mine gas not only poses a major threat to miners, but it also is a large contributor to global warming when released into the atmosphere. However, the potential danger of coal mine gas (CMG) and methane emissions can be greatly reduced when they are harnessed properly for power and heat generation.


How It Works

Today, most large underground hard coal mines potentially contain coal mine methane, and abandoned mine methane and can be effectively used for power and heat generation with gas engines.

Sudden changes in the composition of CMG put greater demands on the engine, however. GE offers a special gas mixing and engine control system that enables efficient use of this gas to a minimum CH4-concentration of only 25 percent.

Additionally, GE’s Jenbacher gas engines and aeroderivative gas turbines are designed to operate on full load, despite low gas pressure, high humidity, dust load, and altitude.

The generated energy can be used in the coal mine to meet electricity requirements or fed into the public power grid. Thermal energy can be used for onsite heating or fed into a district heating system.

Features & Benefits

  • Increased worker safety due to installation or refurnishing of gas suction system
  • Mitigation of greenhouse gas (methane) and possible carbon monetization
  • Revenues for power and heat production, when fed into the public grid
  • Smooth operation despite fluctuations in gas pressure and methane content
  • Overall efficiency of up to 90 percent, in combined heat and power, and up to 43.5 percent in power generation alone
  • Zero to 100 percent load in 10 minutes
  • Compact, modular units with low footprint requirement and dynamic weight
  • Basic design and support for gas conditioning if required
  • Low NOx yield from Dry Low Emissions (DLE) combustors

Steel Gas

Blast furnace, steel and coke gas to electricity: how it works

Rising energy costs and a high demand for power are major challenges for the steel industry. Gases created as “free” by-products during steel production processes serve as an attractive option for efficient power generation. In addition to the economic benefit these gases provide, using them as engine fuel reduces industrial CO2 emissions and saves natural energy sources. GE offers specially modified Jenbacher gas engines that make efficient use of three different steel gases—coke gas, blast furnace gas, and converter gas—for combined generation of heat and electricity, while managing the gases’ varying compositions. The gas engine technology allows the user to expect an electrical efficiency up to 40% and a total of up to 80%.

GE’s aeroderivative gas turbines product line also has a coke gas solution that achieves full power in 10 minutes and has a lightweight, durable, and modular design.

Helping to avoid some effects of climate change  

Increased ecological consciousness and the knowledge of limited reserves of primary energy in the form of fossil fuels make it necessary to utilize available energy sources economically. The emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases is one of the greatest environmental problems of our time. Of all the trace gases present in the Earth’s atmosphere carbon dioxide (CO2) is clearly the largest single contributor to the anthropogenic greenhouse effect.

  • During the process of steelmaking, large volumes of waste gases which include CO2 are produced. 
  • With no general practice for the utilization of steel gases, such as blast furnace gas, in place, siderurgical gases are utilized in different ways. 
  • Current common practice includes the utilization of a combination of a boiler and steam turbine as well as flaring the gas into the atmosphere. 
  • In the latter case, the waste energy can alternatively be utilized to generate energy, replacing fossil fuel based power from national grids through the use of cogeneration systems with gas engines.

Steel waste gas & cogeneration

Blast furnace power generation is possible when cogeneration plants with gas engines produce electricity and heat at decentralized locations, where they are required. The technology of cogeneration with gas engines represents an ecologically and economically attractive possibility for utilizing several kinds of steel gases. This technology offers high levels of efficiency in the utilization of energy with minimum environmental burden. The high efficiency of cogeneration systems for steel waste gas means not only low energy costs and therefore high feasibility; it can mean energy savings and low emissions to atmosphere as well.

Customer features & benefits of steel waste gas to energy

  • Efficient and economic power supply by using coke gas, blast furnace gas, or steel gas, as engine fuel
  • Heat production from the heat recovered from the engine further increases economic feasibility
  • Fuel flexibility by the possibility to operate the plant also with natural gas ensures high availability
  • Alternative disposal of a problem gas while simultaneously harnessing it as an energy source
  • Reduced energy costs, and greater predictability and stability
  • Efficient and economic combined heat and electricity supply
  • High electrical efficiency compared to other power generation technology (e.g., steam or gas turbines)
  • Full power in 10 minutes
  • Best suited for an electrical output range of a few hundred kW up to 20 to 30 MW
  • Considerably low gas pressure required
  • Reduced greenhouse gas
  • Long intervals between overhauls, due to simple, high-quality construction
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Waste to Power Products

GE is committed to finding innovative ways to produce power—we’re constantly researching and working with industries to figure out not just how to optimize power generation—but how to revolutionize it.  

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