around $0.10/kWh which provides for attractive economics for power generation. With electric power deregulation, the market price for power can vary from $0.01 to $0.03/kWh. This reduced price may not cover the cost of operating the LFG-to-power facility; however, landfills may continue to generate power as a means for disposing of LFG. Some facilities are integrated with sewage treatment plants, which have a high demand for electric power. Developments in the market for electric market make it unclear whether generating power from LFG will remain an economically attractive option. Therefore, some electric power capacity could be converted to methanol production.
The sulfur and chlorine containing compounds, while only present in ppm levels, present difficulties with emission control equipment and in some cases lead to corrosion of engines and turbines. NOx control from LFG power generation equipment is limited. Lean burn IC engines experience operational problems as LFG has a much lower heating value than natural gas. Catalytic NOx control (SCR) is also not feasible with LFG without gas cleanup as the sulfur and chlorine compounds degrade the catalyst. Therefore, NOx emissions from LFG power generation equipment are higher than other sources of electric power.
If an LFG electric power source were converted to methanol operation, the actual NOx from the engine would be eliminated or largely reduced as the methanol reformer emits very little NOx. However, it is likely that the NOx from the engine is either part of an electric utility’s RECLAIM mix or that the excess NOx credits would be traded with other stationary users. Consequently, the net NOx reduction due to replacing an IC engine or turbine with a methanol production facility is much lower than the difference between the emissions from the engine and the methanol facility. For example, an IC engine could stop operating. A small portion of its NOx credits could be transferred to a new methanol production facility and the balance of the NOx could be used by an electric utility to increase power generation capacity in the SoCAB.
If LFG that was formerly used in an IC engine is converted to methanol, the net CO2 differs from the flared LFG case. Reducing LFG electric power will result in an increase in electric power output from other sources. The new power generation mix is assumed to be the “actual marginal” power mix for the SoCAB for constant time of day power output. This mix power generation mix does not differ substantially from the power generation mix for vehicle as the majority of the actual marginal power generated in the SoCAB is from new natural gas fired units.