How do Condensate pumps work?
Landfill condensate refers to the wastewater that is produced after extracting biogas from the landfill. Condensate is also produced during biogas upgrading, this is the process of cleaning the biogas that is created from the decomposition of organic material within the landfill site. Condensate has a low level of contamination compared to leachate but the contamination levels still require it to be properly disposed of. Leachate is the liquid extracted from landfill sites as a result of the decomposition process, it is highly contaminated and must not be released into the environment without treatment. Condensate can be treated and disposed of using several methods. In this article we take a look at condensate produced from landfill sites and how condensate pumps work to help to dispose of the contaminated water.
How is condensate collected
As part of the biogas collection and cleaning process condensate is collected in the pipes. Biogas upgrading is the process of removing polluting gasses from biogas to transform it into biomethane. Biomethane can then be used to power vehicles or be injected back into the gas grid network. One of the contaminations of biogas is condensate, this is the water that is collected when biogas goes through the biogas upgrading process and as part of the biogas extraction process, from the landfill into the biogas tanks. There are several different stages of the biogas upgrading process where the condensate is collected and stored. Each of these stages aims to alter the biogas to make it more pure by removing the other gasses and leaving methane behind. The condensate is stored during each stage until there is enough for it to be processed correctly.
What happens to condensate in landfills?
Previously landfills could just dispose of condensate by releasing it into the atmosphere. It was believed that this was an appropriate method for disposal. However regulations now require condensate to be treated and disposed of properly in order to avoid contaminating the environment. Condensate contains several different levels of pollutants. Although these levels are not as high as leachate, condensate is still considered dangerous and should not be released into the environment without proper treatment.
Leachate treatment facilities
One of the easiest ways for landfills to deal with condensate is to pump it into their onsite leachate treatment facility. Many larger landfills treat leachate on site and then put it back into the sewer system. Leachate is the liquid waste produced from landfill sites, it is a very highly toxic waste that needs to be carefully collected and treated to remove pollutants. By adding in the condensate to the leachate it can be treated at the same time and go through the same process.
Another way that condensate can be disposed of is through a wastewater facility. Landfills that do not have an onsite leachate treatment facility may choose to transport the condensate to their local wastewater facility. Practically this can be a time consuming process and is only a viable option if there is a local wastewater facility that will accept condensate from a landfill site.
Condensate flaring is the process of burning condensate to dispose of it with minimal effort or attempt to recycle it. Many landfill sites that are small in size do not have the facility to extract and upgrade biogas in order to recycle it and inject it back into the gas grid. Condensate in this instance can be flared by injecting it into enclosed flares. The water then evaporates and any pollutants are burnt as part of the flaring process. Condensate flaring should be minimized as the process of burning will result in greenhouse gasses entering the atmosphere and contributing to global warming.
QED condensate pumping
At QED we have numerous solutions for the landfill industry to effectively pump out and dispose of leachate and condensate. Our experts are able to advise on the best solution for your current location. We can also provide the equipment to help your landfill comply with regulations and remove the unwanted waste products in a way that best suits your site structure, location and size. Find out more about leachate and condensate pumping or contact one of our expert teams.