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Application of CaterDillar Spark-Ignited Enrzines for Landfill


Curt E. Chadwick Senior Application Consultant, Spark-Ignited Engines Caterpillar Engine Division, Mossville, Illinois Caterpillar has decades of experience operating spark-ignited engines on medium Btu gas, a considerable number of which are performing successfully on landfill gas recovery projects. A partial listing of our landfill gas engine experience is given in Attachment A. Caterpillar offers a complete range of spark-ignited engines that can be operated successfully on landfill gas. Our model 3516 low emission Engine used in single or multiple installations seems to best fit the profile of economically feasible landfill power projects and has been developed specifically for this purpose. The 3516 SITA is a 16 cylinder engine with a 170 x 190 mm bore and stroke, rated at 800 kW with 130" aftercooler water. All Caterpillar spark-ignited engines are built on a diesel frame. The block, crank shaft, bearings, rods, in fact most of the basic componentry is diesel design. As one of the leading diesel engine designers and builders in the world, it makes economic and engineering sense for Caterpillar to convert their diesels to a spark ignited configuration. For the user it offers even more advantages. He gains, without additional cost, a built-in strength not found in many other spark-ignited engines. The 3500 Diesel Engine has been in production since 1980. It is structurally designed for 200 hp per cylinder at 1800 rpm. The spark ignited version is rated at only 72 hp per cylinder at 1200 rpm. This inherent structural strength combined with specific components designed for landfill gas operation provides this application with an excellent performing, very durable spark-ignited engine. Emissions The primary exhaust emission concern for the engine generator is the amount of NOX emitted per year. All sites will have a Federal limit with 250 tons per year for an attainment area being the most liberal that can be expected. Standard (rich burn) engines will reach this limit with total installed power of approximately 1200 kW, whereas low emission (lean burn) engine arrangements are able to stay below it with up to 10 MW of power. Many local areas require "BACT" (Best Available Control Technology) will usually be defined as a maximum NO level of 2.0 or 1.5 g/hp-h. The 3516 SITA Engine can be operated at 1.5 g NaX'bhp-h on landfill gas. Only a low emission engine is able to attain this level since catalytic converters are not compatible with landfill gas and cannot be used to obtain lower levels of NOx. The 3516 SI Engine is available in two versions for operation on landfill gas. The first version is for sites where EPA permits require NOX emission levels below 5 g NO hp-h This arrangement requires 35 psig gas pressure and is X referred to as the high pressure arrangement. The second version is the low pressure gas version for operation on as low as 2 psig gas pressure. This arrangement is currently not configured for operation at emission levels below 5 g NOx hp-h. Both versions include special corrosion-resistant parts and cooling systems to minimize maintenance costs.


Landfill Gas as a Fuel Operation of engines on landfill gas is more difficult because of the s l o w burning characteristics of the gas and the contaminants commonly found in the gas. Site conditions that will require a very low emission level will require additional horsepower for gas compression and added fuel consumption. For a discussion of landfill gas as fuel, fuel treatment, and consumption rates,refer to Attachment B. Engine Generator Maintenance Engine maintenance with landfill gas is a significant portion of the total operating expense. The contaminants found in landfill gas can produce rapid engine wear if not closely managed. A successful gas-to-energy project requires a commitment to careful maintenance management. Caterpillar has specific maintenance schedules for engines operated on landfill gas. For projects that require it, a guaranteed maintenance contract is available through the Caterpillar Power Protection Plan. Destruction Efficiency Caterpillar Spark-Ignited Engines are designed to efficiently burn gaseous hydrocarbons. All Caterpillar spark-ignited Engines will meet the proposed EPA destruction efficiency standard of 98% for reactive organic compounds, Our statement on destruction efficiency is based on measurements with various gaseous fuels and actual operation data on landfill gas. It is our opinion that hydrocarbons such as benzene or toluene or any constituent with a hydrocarbon bond would be destroyed in the combustion process with an equal efficiency. Therefore, we feel we adequately meet the proposed EPA standard of 98.0% destruction efficiency for ROCs. Reference Material

ASME Paper 87-ICE-13 "Operation of a Caterpillar 3516 Spark-Ignited Engine on low btu fuel", by N. C. Macari and R. D. Richardson.
Summary There are landfill projects in existence today that have experienced unacceptable maintenance costs on their spark-ignited engines. In many cases, gas, but the project these costs were thought to be the result of Itbadtt manager did not have the technical resources to understand why a gas was ttbad'r and control his costs. Now, however, we have developed the technical resources to not only predict these problems but correct them and control the costs. This primarily is a test for the gas which determines the relative amount of corrosion it could cause in an engine. With this test data, it can now be determined what causes a good gas to become "bad" and make the necessary changes in the engine to resist the corrosion. The result has been the development of maintenance schedules for landfill engines which protects your investment through controlled costs and allows the project managers to have a successful power generation project. KCEC358.REP

Attachment A

Caterpillar Landfill Engine Installations

1983 United Enviromental Services, Inc. 1983 Town of Brattleboro 1984 H. 0. Penn Machinery 1984 H. 0. Penn Machinery 1984 Methane Development Corporation 1984 Norton Landfill 1984 Wayne Disposal 1984 United Enviromental Services, Inc. 1984 Waste Management, Inc.
1985 United Enviromental Services, Inc.

Smithtown, NY Brattleboro, V T Brookhaven, NY Huntington, NY Babylon, NY Broadview Heights, OH Wayne, MI Riverhead, NY Calument City. IL Depfford Township, N J Enola. PA Baltimore City. MD Liverpool. UK Littleton, CO Philidelphia. PA Duarte, CA Switzerland Jacksonville, FL Taylor, PA Smithtown. NY Kent, UK Henrietta, NY E. Peorla, IL Kent, UK

1-G399 TA Generator Set 4-3306 SINA Generator Set 5-G399 TA Generator Set 3-G399 TA Generator Set
3-3306 SITA Generator Set

600 kW 320 kW 3000 kW

1800 kW 450 kW 100 kW

1300 kW

1-3306SINA Generator Set

4-C398 NA Generator Set

1-G399 TA Generator Set
1-3306SINA Blower

600 kW

135 hp 2400 kW 300 kW


4 4 3 9 9 TA Generator Set 2-3306 SITA Generator Set

1985 Cleveland Bros. 1985 Maryland Recovery 1986 Garden Festival Site
1986 Waste Management

1-3306 SINA Blower 2-G399 TA Generator Set

1-3516SITA Generator Set
343398 TA Generator Set

940 kW
800 kW

1986 OBrien Energy

1987 OBrien Energy

1350 kW

4-G398 TALE Generator Set

1-G398 TALE Generator Set

1800 kW

1987 Steinigand 1987 Ringpower Corp.

405 kW
800 kW

2-3412 SITA Generator Set 4-G398 TA Generator Set 2-G399 TA Generatoe Set 2-3516 SITA Generator Set 4-3516 SITA Generator Set 2-3516 SITA Generator Set 2-3516 SITA Generator Set

1988 OBrien Energy 1988 Energy Tachtics

1988 Blue Circle Landfll
1988 Waste Management, Inc.

1800 kW

1200 kW
1330 kW

3200 kW 1600 kW
1330 kW

1989 Waste Management, Inc. 1989. Blue Circle Landfill *Under Construction

Attachment B Landfill Gas Discussion

1. Methane Concentration
The methane concentration in landfill gas varies from 45% to 60%. The additional gases are CO2 which varies from 37-50%, some N 2 and a maximum of 2% 0 . With careful landfill gas collection management, a gas of stable gtu content within the range of 450-550 Btu/cu ft can be obtained. It is usually better to have excess gas available for an engine rather than too little. Operators who try to extract the maximum amount of gas from a landfill can draw on the field too hard and have air intrusion into the field. This results in low or erratic methane level and resulting engine operational problems. Although engines can be made to run on gas with lower than 400 Btu/cu ft, additional maintenance and operational expense is involved. For best results, Caterpillar does not recommend operation on fuel gases with less than 400 Btu/cu ft. 2. Fuel Suecifications and Consumption Rates The fuel specifications for Caterpillar SI Engines operating on landfill gas are given in Attachment C. The fuel consumption is dependent upon the NO emission level required as shown below. Landfill gas is a slow burning fuel because of the high levels of carbon dioxide. Lower NOx levels require a lean air-fuel ratio which also slows the combustion rate. A combination of both of these factors result in an increase in fuel consumption as the NOx levels decrease. 3516 SITA @ 800 kW, 1200 rpm Fuel Consumption CF/D (512 Btu/cu ft) 392,100 400,100 408,100


Level n/bhu-h 5 2 1.5

As seen from the list of sites on Attachment A , there are other model Caterpillar Spark-Ignited Engines in successful landfill applications. They include generators, blowers, pumps, and gas compressors. For sites that require smaller generator units, the following list gives ratings and fuel consumption for units equipped for operation on landfill gas: Model 3306 3306 3408 3412 SINA SIT SITA SITA Rating 92 125 290 430 kW Estimated Fuel Consumtion in cu ft Per Day 53,112 67,000 160,000 240,000

kW kW kW

3. Contaminants The low Btu fuels, such as landfill and digester gas, can routinely contain corrosive elements, water vapor, and solid particulates. All of

-2these contaminants, depending on their level, can be harmful to the engine. Understanding these elements and monitoring them is necessary for acceptable engine performance and life. The corrosive elements are divided into four major categories. They are sulfur compounds, halides, acids, and solids,

Sulfur in the Gas Sulfur compounds are formed during the decomposition of organic waste and primarily consist of hydrogen sulfide. The maximum levels of hydrogen sulfide are listed in micrograms/Btu. Previous levels have listed the maximum level of hydrogen sulfide (H S)in PPMV. Caterpillar has found this method unsatisfactory for2 the following reasons:

The variability and the Btu content of the fuel would result in a considerable variance in the amount of sulfur within the engines per a given unit of power. Consider the following example: 1000 PPMV of H S in field gas (1,000 Btu/cu ft) equals 10.67 grams of suffur per kW. Example No. 2; 1000 PPMV of H2S in landfill gas (450 Btu/cu ft) equal 26.2 grams of sulfur per kW. In the above examples, both have 1000 PPMV and the second example results in more than 2-1/2 times more sulfur per kW in the engine. The sulfur levels given in micrograms/Btu compensate for the variability of the Btu content in the gas. The maximum level of sulfur allowed within the fuel gas is 47.4 micrograms/Btu. If the level of H S is greater than 47.5 micrograms/Btu, the fuel must be treaged to reduce the level of H S . If the gas has more than 47.5 micrograms of H S per Btu,2the H S from the 2 blowby could be dissolved in the o 2 i l and cause corrosive attacks on internal engine components. The H S will attack the 2 bright metals within the engines such as the oil cooler and the bronze-brass bushings or bearings. This direct H S attack 2 cannot be deterred by high TBN oils or controlled by oil analysis; therefore, it is essential that the H S in the fuel 2 gas be reduced to levels less than 47.5 micrograms/Btu. There are various devices available to reduce H S in the fuel gas, 2 such as chemically active filters, reactive beds, and solutions. During use, these devices deplete the reactive chemicals and their performance deteriorates. The devices then need servicing or replacing. We recommend that even though a fuel gas is scrubbed to remove the levels of H S , precautions should be taken when using a high sulfur fuel $0 protect against those intervals when the chemical scrubbers deteriorate and require servicing. Even brief intervals of operations with high levels of H2S in the fuel, without precautions, can damage the engine.


Halide ComDounds The landfill gas can contain volatile organic compounds (VOC) and chlorofluorocarbons (CFC). The VOCs can in many cases contain chlorine. When the VOCs and CFC are burned within the engine, the


chlorine and fluorine that are released during the combustion process form hydrochloric acid (HCL) and the hydrofluoric acid (HF). Both of these acids are very corrosive to internal engine components and can result in accelerated ring and liner wear and exhaust valve stem and guide wear. There are over 200 different compounds identified in landfill g a s . A list of the top 25 compounds that contain chlorine and fluorine is given in Table A. The primary sources of these chlorinated organic hydrocarbons and chlorofluorocarbons are industrial and household solvents such as paint thinners and degreasers. Additional sources for chlorofluorocarbons are freons from old aerosol cans, refrigerators, and air conditioners. Very few of the halogenated hydrocarbons are formed from the decomposition of plastics and other petroleum-based materials. The volatile hydrocarbons are heavier molecules than the methane and CO and tend to remain in the landfill until the landfill gas is collected. Once the gas is drawn from the fill, the localized area of the volatile hydrocarbon is no longer saturated. Additional volatile hydrocarbons are evaporated into the moving gas stream until they are depleted. Measurements from producing landfills indicate the volatile hydrocarbons drop to 10-25% of their original levels after one or two years of gas production.


Measurement of Halides The PPMV method commonly used to measure the halides in the fuel is not appropriate to determine the effect of the chlorine and fluorine on the engine, The reason is each molecule of gas occupies the same volume. Even though a gas molecule may have a considerable different molecular weight or mass, its volume is the same. Consider the following examples:

1. One molecule of vinyl chloride formula C2H3 CL contains one chlorine atom per molecule.
2. Consider one molecule of perchloroethene, formula C H CL 2 3 5 contains 5 chlorine atoms per molecule.

One molecule of trichlorotrifluoroethane (Freon 1 1 3 ) has a formula C CL F-C CL F and contains three chlorine and three 2 2 fluorine for a total of six corrosive atoms.

As seen in the above examples, one PPMV of perchloroethene has five times the chlorine of vinyl chloride and Freon 113 has six times the corrosive levels of vinyl chloride. To account for these differences in chlorine level and fluorine per molecule, the level of halides is given in micrograms of chlorine and fluorine/Btu of gas.
Each of the chlorinated hydrocarbon and chlorofluorocarbon gases are in relatively low concentrations within the landfill gas. However, because of the varying numbers of compounds and their cumulative


effect, the level of chlorine can be considerable. There is currently no standard test among landfill operators for measuring the chlorinated hydrocarbons and chlorofluorocarbons. The test which is most widely used is the EPA624 test for volatile hydrocarbons. This is an EPA water standards test which has been adapted for measuring gases. The EPA624 test is acceptable for determining the chlorine level provided the minimum threshold of detectability is 5 PPMV. The EPA624 test is expensive at approximately $1,000U.S., and the results can vary considerably from laboratory to laboratory. Caterpillar has developed a laboratory test for measuring the levels of chlorine within a sample of landfill gas. This test measures the micrograms of chlorine per liter of gas by first depositing a sample of the gas in the test equipment. The sample, including the halogenated organic compounds, is oxidized in a CO and O2 2 atmosphere. The hydrogen halide by-product of the pyrolysis is measured electrically using microcoulometric titration. The accuracy of this equipment is 2 0 . 0 0 2 % , not including inaccuracy introduced at the sample withdrawing and depositing. To obtain further information regarding this total organic halide measurement, contact:


Core Laboratories, Inc. Attention: Gas Analysis Chemist 1300 South Potomac Street, Suite 130 Aurora, CO 80012 Telephone: (303) 751-1780

Low Btu fuel gases in their normal state are usually saturated with water vapor. This water vapor combines with organic compounds to form organic acids as well as carbonic acid because of the high concentrations of CO This water vapor can have a PH from two to 2' six and can be very corrosive to the gas handling equipment as well as the engine. To eliminate this corrosion caused by acid in the gas, it is recommended that the moisture content be reduced to 115 lb of wateroper MMSCF of gas. The gas should then be heated to a minimum of 60 F in order to prevent any recurrence of free water.


Solid Particulate Matter Depending upon the landfill cover material, the climate, and the velocity of the gas within the fill, significant levels of microscopic silica can be carried with the gas. Generally, this silica is less than five microns in size with significant levels less than one micron. The particles are generally too small to cause significant abrasive wear within the engine; however, if the silica particles are in high enough density, they can coagulate in the combustion process and form larger particles. These larger particles can result in abrasive wear of the exhaust valve face and valve seat. The coagulated silica particles can also form indentations on the exhaust valve face and seat if they become


trapped between those surfaces during valve closure. These indentations or pitting of the valve face and seat may result in eventual leakage and burning of the valve.


Removal of Particulates Filtration is recommended to control the silica. Filters with 100% effectiveness of one micron-sized particles and larger and 98% efficiency of particles 0 . 4 microns and larger are recommended. Even with this filtration equipment, on some landfills significant amounts of silica can still enter the engine. The levels of silica are detected in the oil analysis results. Silica levels up to 100 parts million are not infrequent and can be tolerated provided they are less than one micro and do not cause any exhaust valve face wear or burning.


Table A


Attachment C Caterpillar Landfill Fuel Gas Specifications Lower heat value:

4 0 0 - 5 5 0 BtU(LHV)/SCF Maximum variation + 2% from set point required to maintain emission level.

Trace amounts of other hydrocarbons, halogenated hydrocarbons, and s u l f u r compounds may also be present. The engine can tolerate the levels listed below with the appropriate maintenance schedule. Limit : Sulfur Chlorine and Fluorine 47.5 ug/Btu
40 ug/Btu

A gas clean up system may be required if values exceed these limits;

consult Caterpillar for technical assistance. Lab results are frequently reported in ug/L. To calculate ug/Btu, use the following example: C 1 = 160 ug/L (Lab Results) Fuel Gas Sample LHV 160 Supply pressure to engine: Low pressure fuel arrangements: 6 51 in H 0 gauge at rated flow to mixer body, the standard regulators 2 supplied with engine will maintain these conditions with 2 psig supply 5 ' F above combustion air pressure. Temperature controlled to 20F + temperature. High pressure fuel arrangements: 50 psia, temperature 60-120F at engine with no more than 20F total fluctuation. Moisture content: 115 lbs/MMSCF

535 Btu/SCF


535 Btu


8 . 5 ug/Btu

Oil content:
2 . 5 lb/MMSCF of gas



No more than 0 . 0 0 0 5 lb/MMSCF of 80 micron size or smaller particles

Revised 8 - 1 6 - 8 9