Earth, Atmosphere & Environment Sciences

Title :

Assessment of LFG recovery, utilization and reduction in GHG emission at Madurai Landfill site, Tamil Nadu, India

Area of research :

Earth, Atmosphere & Environment Sciences

Focus area :

Socio-economic issues of environment and Sustainable development

Principal Investigator :

Dr D. Brindha, Thiagarajar College of Engineering (TCE), Madurai

Timeline Start Year :


Timeline End Year :


Contact info :


Executive Summary :

Every million tonne of municipal solid waste (MSW) in a landfill is estimated to be able to produce approximately 300 cubic feet per minute of landfill gas (LPG). This amount of LFG could generate approximately 0.78 megawatts of power, or provide 9 million Btu per hour of thermal energy LFG is a natural by-product of the decomposition of organic material in anaerobic (without oxygen) conditions. LFG contains roughly 50 to 55 percent methane and 45 to 50 percent carbon dioxide. It was informed that over a period of 15 years, solid wastes collected from the city are disposed off by open dumping at Vellakkal site, located in Avaniyapuram Municipality over an extent of approximately 110 acres. Total area: 110 acres (approximately); boundary distance: 2.85 km (1.77 miles). Vellakkal is an operating landfill. Field measurement techniques for landfills range from square meter to square kilometer scales, including chambers, tracer techniques, micrometeorological approaches, vertical radial plume mapping (VRPM), and aircraft mass balance approaches. Generally, different models are used to calculate landfill methane emissions such as the First order model, Multi-phase model, LandGEM (US-EPA) etc. Testing wells are installed either in a cluster of three or at five dispersed locations in the landfill. A blower is used to extract LFG from the landfill, LFG composition, landfill pressures, and orifice pressure differentials from the wells are measured and the landfill gas production flow rate is calculated. The project involves piping of methane gas to the nearby residential area would make the project sustainable and serve as a model to use at other similar dumpsites in other towns and cities in the country. This will also help in reducing GHG emissions from the site. t. The Project may come out with specific assessment of reduction in gaseougnants including GHG emissions from solid waste dumps. A microbiologist who could suggest suitable microbial bacteria which could hasten the process of decomposition in the dump site, would be associated and in this regard, guidance from the Department of Microbiology of Thiagarajar College. (Arts &Science), Madurai would be obtained for fastening the decomposition process. Madurai Municipality will also involved and made a stakeholder in the project for feasibility of supply and use of LFG by pipeline in the vicinity of the landfill after project commencement and after identification of potential users for the LFG. A preliminary survey of the area and potential users of LFG would be carried out. The expertise of Dr. J. Daniel Chellappa. Scientist. Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) has launched a similar project on natural gas generation project using biodegradable garbage in Melur and Tirumangalam may be obtained which can be included as part of the Project cost.

Objective: i. To quantify the potential greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction from implementing a project. ii. To perform a field investigation (pump test) of LFG extraction rates at the landfill by installing extraction wells. iii. To assess the technical and economic feasibility of the development of an LFG control and utilization project at the landfill. iv. To evaluate the project economics by quantifying capital and operational costs and sources of revenues, and calculating the net present value and internal rate of return. v. Feasibility of use of LFG to serve as a pipeline gas connection scheme to nearby houses in the study.


Dr S. Sivasangari, Assistant Professor, Thiagarajar College of Engineering (TCE), Madurai

Total Budget (INR):



Output: Extent of GHG emission reduction as a result of this project. The extent of LFG recovery. Feasibility /SOP for implementing LFG to energy recovery project for similar dumpsites/landfills. Outcome: Reduction in GHG emissions. The outcome will help fields/communities for improving quality of life and for sustainable livelihoods. The study will help in the significant reduction of pollutant generation and energy efficiency. A Standard Operating Procedure and Guidance Manuals for recovery of LFG from small dump sites for the use of the Ministry of Urban Development for Class II cities shall be prepared for use under Smart Cities Programme.

Organizations involved