We all know that landfills produce methane which is a powerful greenhouse gas and when it is released into the environment it proves out to be twenty times more harmful than carbon dioxide. Some researchers are proposing to harvest this gas to generate electricity, but the plant that can generate usable power from methane isn’t cheap. Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago have come up with an easy and effective solution for this as they believe that a covering of biochar on the landfills will trap the gas in place preventing it from getting released and harming the environment.
Professor Krishna Reddy and Jean Bogner, who have done a lot of research on landfill management solutions, after a lot of study on biochar, came to the conclusion that it has a capacity to absorb methane long enough for the bacteria to break it up. Biochar is a charcoal made from wood and waste crops, it can either be used by itself or can also be mixed with soil to provide an effective cover system, but which charcoal works best for containing methane still needs to be further analyzed. According to The US Environmental Protection Agency there are more than ten thousand dumps and landfills in and around the country and it is from these large dumps that most of the methane gas is released even before the bacteria can work on it, hence it’s here that this charcoal containment covering will prove to be most effective.
Biochar apart from absorbing the leaks of methane also oxygenates soil, providing a suitable environment for bacteria to thrive. It is a cheap and a sustainable product as it is made from crop waste on site at a landfill. This simple operation will surely be appreciated by the government and the landfill workforce.