According to the U.S. Department of Energy, pulling methane gas from waste uses a process called anaerobic digestion or methane recovery. Similar to how natural gas is created, anaerobic bacteria digest organic material when there is no oxygen and then produce biogas.The report also states that "no investor-owned utility companies currently use methane gas" as a source of energy but AmerenUE plans to use a landfill in St. Louis to make methane energy starting next year. The Environmental Protection Agency counts 10 Missouri landfills that use their methane to generate electricity for municipal power providers.
The bacteria must be kept at a consistent temperature around 98 degrees. The biodigester where waste is stored during the process can be very expensive and usually is more economically viable for large scale livestock operations that produce a lot of waste.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.