In many cases, the availability of alternative fuels provides customers with an economically beneficial fuel compared to purchasing traditional fuels such as natural gas or distillate oil. With our robust range of gas engines, and a fleet of gas turbines larger than all of its competitors combined, GE has more operational experience handling, treating, and burning alternative fuels as well as understanding the relative maintenance impacts of their use.

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Landfill Gas

Created during the decomposition of organic substances, landfill gas consists of methane, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen. The controlled collection and combustion of this problem gas is an indispensable step in the modern operation and re-cultivation of a landfill site. In addition, the high calorific value of landfill gas makes it a viable fuel for gas engines that can be effectively used for power generation. With more than 25 years of experience in the combustion of landfill gas throughout the world, GE’s Jenbacher gas engines provide an excellent solution for using your waste gas as an energy source.


How It Works

Municipal waste contains about 150 to 250 kg of organic carbon per ton. These substances are biologically degradable and are converted by microorganisms into landfill gas. Stable, anaerobic methane fermentation begins one to two years after the waste is deposited in the landfill.

Features & Benefits

Jenbacher landfill gas engines are specially designed to run at full load with high efficiency, despite a low heating value and fluctuations of gas quality and pressure. High quality engine parts resist impurities that usually appear in this type of fuel.

  • Mitigation of greenhouse gas (methane) and possible carbon monetization
  • Revenues for power production, when fed into the public grid
  • Alternative disposal of a problem gas while simultaneously harnessing it as an energy source
  • Low weight containerized units that are easy to move and adjust to changing project capacity
  • Smooth operation despite low heating value and fluctuations in gas composition and pressure
  • Standard electrical efficiency of up to 42 percent and up to 90 percent in the case of combined heat and power
  • CL.AIR integrated emission control solution complies with country-specific standards

Waste Gas

GE’s Jenbacher gas engines provide the solution to the rising energy costs that wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) operators have historically had to pay to meet their discharge permit requirements. Our gas engines efficiently and reliably convert sewage gas into electricity in plants that use anaerobic digestion for biosolids treatment. The process covers up to 80 percent of a plant’s electricity needs and makes it unnecessary to burn fossil fuels for heating.


How It Works

  • On average, about 1 MW of electricity can be generated from biosolids for every 25-30 MGD of treated wastewater. Several active installations fueled by sewage gas show the generation potential of the GE solution.
  • In Tirol, Austria, two Jenbacher gas engines, a J208 and a J312, power and heat a facility that provides 120 percent of its energy demand and sends the excess power to the local grid.
  • Two J316 engines provide 1.7 MW of renewable energy for a facility in Portland, Oregon. The electrical output meets about 40 percent of the plant’s electricity demand.
  • A cogeneration plant in Spain uses three Jenbacher J620 gas engines to produce 8 MW of power – more than four times the norm for a standard biogas plant.
  • Three more J620 units enable a plant in Santiago Basin, Chile, to produce up to 60 percent of its power with renewable electricity.

Features & Benefits

  • LEANOX controls with turbo charger bypass help ensure the correct air-to-gas ratio to lessen exhaust gas emissions while maintaining stable engine operation.
  • Electrical efficiency of up to 43 percent reduces the need to purchase energy from the public grid.
  • A fully developed monitoring function, including remote monitoring, creates high levels of reliability.
  • Maintenance intervals—60,000 operating hours for major overhauls and 30,000 for cylinder heads—cut maintenance costs.
  • Seamless dual fuel mixing evens out gas production fluctuations by supplementing natural gas as needed.
  • High power engine density reduces space requirements and installation costs.
  • The low-vibration engine has negligible impact on buildings.

Coal Mine Gas

Released methane gas from underground coal mines forms a highly explosive mixture when combined with air. This mine gas not only poses a major threat to miners, but it also is a large contributor to global warming when released into the atmosphere. However, the potential danger of coal mine gas (CMG) and methane emissions can be greatly reduced when they are harnessed properly for power and heat generation.


How It Works

Today, most large underground hard coal mines potentially contain coal mine methane, and abandoned mine methane and can be effectively used for power and heat generation with gas engines.

Sudden changes in the composition of CMG put greater demands on the engine, however. GE offers a special gas mixing and engine control system that enables efficient use of this gas to a minimum CH4-concentration of only 25 percent.

Additionally, GE’s Jenbacher gas engines and aeroderivative gas turbines are designed to operate on full load, despite low gas pressure, high humidity, dust load, and altitude.

The generated energy can be used in the coal mine to meet electricity requirements or fed into the public power grid. Thermal energy can be used for onsite heating or fed into a district heating system.

Features & Benefits

  • Increased worker safety due to installation or refurnishing of gas suction system
  • Mitigation of greenhouse gas (methane) and possible carbon monetization
  • Revenues for power and heat production, when fed into the public grid
  • Smooth operation despite fluctuations in gas pressure and methane content
  • Overall efficiency of up to 90 percent, in combined heat and power, and up to 43.5 percent in power generation alone
  • Zero to 100 percent load in 10 minutes
  • Compact, modular units with low footprint requirement and dynamic weight
  • Basic design and support for gas conditioning if required
  • Low NOx yield from Dry Low Emissions (DLE) combustors

Steel Gas

Rising energy costs and a high demand for power are major challenges for the steel industry. Gases created as “free” by-products during steel production processes serve as an attractive option for efficient power generation. In addition to the economic benefit these gases provide, using them as engine fuel reduces industrial CO2 emissions and saves natural energy sources. GE offers specially modified Jenbacher gas engines that make efficient use of three different steel gases—coke gas, blast furnace gas, and converter gas—for combined generation of heat and electricity, while managing the gases’ varying compositions.

GE’s aeroderivative gas turbines product line also has a coke gas solution that achieves full power in 10 minutes and has a lightweight, durable, and modular design.

Features & Benefits

  • Alternative disposal of a problem gas while simultaneously harnessing it as an energy source
  • Reduced energy costs, and greater predictability and stability
  • Efficient and economic combined heat and electricity supply
  • High electrical efficiency compared to other power generation technology (e.g., steam or gas turbines)
  • Full power in 10 minutes
  • Best suited for an electrical output range of a few hundred kW up to 20 to 30 MW
  • Considerably low gas pressure required
  • Reduced greenhouse gas
  • Long intervals between overhauls, due to simple, high-quality construction
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Waste to Power Products

GE is committed to finding innovative ways to produce power—we’re constantly researching and working with industries to figure out not just how to optimize power generation—but how to revolutionize it.  

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