Apple approved to use landfill gas to create electricity using fuel cells in North Carolina

“A new lease agreement between Catawba County [North Carolina] and Apple will allow for the construction of a renewable energy facility that harnesses landfill gas,” Kevin Griffin reports for The Hickory Record. “The lease, approved by the Board of Commissioners on Monday, provides Apple with about 3.7 acres on the Blackburn Resource Recovery Facility in Newton. Apple’s renewable energy facility will use treated methane from the landfill to create electricity using fuel cells.”

“Entering into the agreement with Apple helps the county in a number of ways, County Attorney Debra Bechtel said,” Griffin reports. “‘There are absolutely no county tax dollars involved in this, there are no dollars out of the solid waste enterprise fund that are being involved. In fact, all the county is getting out this are benefits,’ Bechtel said.”

“The lease also will allow the county to avoid buying another engine in the near future, as well as give the county a role in producing clean energy,” Griffin reports. “‘We’ll be able to say we were involved in hopefully developing the next great energy source that is clean and safe for citizens across the entire country,’ Bechtel said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Since methane gas reportedly has twenty-one times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide, it’s certainly better to turn it into electricity than let it vent into the atmosphere. Congrats, Apple!

Apple Inc. forms Apple Energy company; looks to sell electricity into grid and perhaps directly to consumers – June 9, 2016


    1. That would end up bankrupting all existing energy producers, considering the abundance of the source…

      It is quite possible that all that Wall Street hot air is the primary cause for climate change… Which confirms that it is anthropogenic!

  1. Too bad Catawba County uses the rest of the methane from the landfill to produce electricity with an ICE generator instead of fuel cells, thereby wasting 75% of the energy content of the gas. Backward county!

    1. Progress occurs in steps. Lets give them credit for the steps they took. If Catawba County had not invested in methane collection pipes (big and risky investment) then the methane would have escaped to atmosphere (huge greenhouse effect) with no electricity produced. Let’s give them credit. Calling them backward is unkind and untrue.

      Further, we can only wish that fuel cells were 100% efficient. If a fuel cell achieves 60%, would you say that 40% is wasted? And accuse the county of being backward? Or would you call it “best available technology”?

      Nice work Catawba. Lets keep improving. Nice work Apple, for investing in further progress.

      1. You are, of course, correct. My addiction to shiny technology and abhorrence of ICE-based systems kicked in and I was way too critical. You Jes’ Said it right.

  2. If this works, maybe Apple can capture the gas coming out of Pelosi’s mouth and turn it into useful energy. Hell Nancy could power the entire Bay Area.

  3. Apple “creates” energy? MDN is populated with idiots. Any fool with a basic education understands that the First Law, “…energy can neither be created nor destroyed; energy can only be transferred or changed from one form to another.”

      1. Sure, say Apple “creates” energy if misrepresentation and lies are what you value. Transform is not the “better” term, it’s the correct term. Anything less that what it is only encourages sloth, poor thinking, and stupidity.

  4. Keep in mind that this is still further addiction to carbon fuels. Landfill gas contains a mess of stuff created by the metabolism of bacteria and fungi. Most of that gas is carbon based, the best example being methane. Burn it and you get the same old problematic greenhouse gas:

    CO2, carbon dioxide

    Meanwhile, without burning it, methane itself is a greenhouse gas. Therefore, it’s a sort of break even.

    1. How can one differentiate natural versus anthropomorphic greenhouse gases if they are chemically indistinguishable? And why would the earth get a break from producing the same gases humans do and are punished for?

      1. Conundrum. Some communities, such as mine, burn their garbage. CO2 results. In a landfill the greenhouse gas release is obviously slower, but it’s happening. What to do in that case? Beats me.

        But there are many things we humans control and we know that we’ve enjoyed behavior that has let greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere with detrimental effects. As a biologist (among other things), I’m watching coral reefs around the planet dying specifically because of acidification of the oceans. The OCEANS! Those bodies of water that are incomprehensibly massive! And yet, we are clearly the predominant source of the ocean’s growing acid content through our waste products, including CO2 (which when in the presence of water is in equilibrium with carbonic acid. Increase the CO2 concentration and acid results). The majority of coral has apparently never had to face such concentrations of acid, stopping their ability to create and maintain their calcium skeleton, resulting in their sluffing off the reefs and dying. The result is the loss of a fundamental ocean ecosystem that usually teams with life.

        IOW: We have control over much of our waste if we choose to take control. We are going to have to if we want miracle planet Earth, our only home, to survive, and us with it.

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