Sunday, July 19, 2009

Building cars with trash


is making this

using this

Partnering with Waste Management and Ameresco in 2003, BMW Manufacturing in Spartanburg, SC found a way to make use of the decomposing trash in a local landfill. They laid over 9 miles of pipes and tapped into the methane gas being created at the Palmetto Landfill in Wellford, SC. Combining electricity and hot water creation, over 60% of all of the Spartanburg plant's energy needs are provided by the methane gas. The company has saved nearly $5,000,000 in energy costs annually since this program was started.

This year, BMW is upgrading the system, replacing four old turbines with two new, more efficient ones. These new turbines will improve output from 14% to 30% while using the same amount of methane. The company estimates an additional savings in energy costs of $2,000,000 a year from this upgrade while reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 92,000 tons each year.

Looks like at least one company isn't waiting for Congress to pass a "Cap and Trade" bill to start reducing harmful pollutions. In spite of the worries of some on the results of reducing greenhouse gases, BMW appears to be able to reduce pollutants while expanding its manufacturing facilities at the Spartanburg location bringing more jobs to the US rather than being forced to send them elsewhere.

It's nice to see that some good can from a landfill.

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