The City of Vancouver has been capturing landfill gas from its Delta landfill for many years. In partnership with Village Farms Clean Energy, Inc. (a wholly owned subsidiary of Village Farms International, headquartered in Delta, British Columbia) the City provides some of its captured landfill gas to Village Farms Clean Energy which is combusted in Delta powerhouse to produce renewable electricity for B.C. Hydro and heat for its greenhouse operations. The remaining landfill gas is captured and flared at the City landfill.
The flared gas from the City landfill and gas from the Village Farms’ co-gen facility represents a missed opportunity to use the existing carbon dioxide from the landfill in place of carbon dioxide produced from burning fossil fuels.
In conjunction with funding from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada delivered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of B.C., Village Farms has investigated the technical and economic feasibility of capturing the carbon dioxide in Vancouver’s landfill gas for use in its Delta greenhouses, and for sale to other B.C. greenhouse operators as well as food and beverage processing companies.
After months of research and the assessment of twenty-two technology options the results of the study are very encouraging. The study identifies three options that utilize several different technologies to separate and clean the carbon dioxide in landfill gas so that it can be used on-site in Village Farm’s greenhouses and sold to food and beverage processors in the Lower Mainland, which will enhance the sustainability of B.C. companies and contribute to Vancouver’s Greenest City 2020 Action Plan.
According to the study, using the carbon dioxide in landfill gas from Vancouver’s landfill will result in yearly greenhouse gas emission reductions of more than 19,000 tonnes/year; equivalent to removing 4,000 passenger vehicles from the road or consuming 45,000 less barrels of oil. Furthermore, it will also have a positive impact on local air quality. Greenhouse gas emission reduction and air quality are central themes in local and provincial government plans and objectives.
Michael A. DeGiglio, President and CEO for Village Farms had this to say about the project, “Once again as a company Village Farms has aligned itself to be on the forefront of clean technology. We are pleased to be driving an initiative with the potential to place British Columbia on the leading edge of sustainability while helping to support an innovative and globally competitive agrifoods sector.”
The Carbon Dioxide Landfill Gas Capture Study was conducted by Hallbar Consulting, a local sustainability consultancy firm, in partnership with the Swedish Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering, a world-leading applied research and development institute.
Next steps include meeting with local and regional government officials to discuss how best to move the project forward. “This project is a no-brainer,” says Matt Dickson, Managing Director of Hallbar Consulting. “Everyone knows the importance of greenhouse gas emission reductions and the desire to grow the reputation of B.C.’s agrifoods sector as being green and clean.”
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