Ukiah Proposal: Trash In, Cash Out


Proposal for Biogas Capital Improvement Project

Thanks for the attention to the subject of energy from biogas. Following is a brief explanation of using landfill gas (LFG) and biogas from local organic waste.

The 2007 feasibility report projects LFG from the Ukiah landfill to be 300 cubic feet per minute for the next ten years.  It will slowly decrease to 200 cubic feet by 2023. We contacted national experts who proposed biomass gasification for increasing power potentials.  Gasification of biomass is not burning at all nor producing any more methane gas, rather is it an instant hot smoke gas extraction. All emitted gasses are completely absorbed, filtered and compressed. The process of gasification is automatic, extracting first water vapors then volatile gasses with heat. Using the exhaust heat from the electric turbine generators, gasification has no smokestacks and a relatively small physical footprint. In a closed loop cycle, no new additional pollution is created. The gasified material is left as agrichar, a clean soil amendment. The process purifies the carbon by heat. It qualifies for carbon credits. Distilled hot water is another byproduct.

Since LFG is bound to its location, a good site for a gasification plant is at the old dump on the existing concrete slab.  The LFG can then be mixed with the biogas as additional fuel. Biomass material for gasification is all locally available; it includes: biosolids, tree trimmings, agricultural and yard waste (currently burned.) At the moment, Ukiah pays for transporting its biosolids from the waste water treatment plant to “Redwood” in Marin for landfill. Cost and pollution can be redirected.

Estimates of income for the City are around 1 million dollars annually and could produce between 5 to 10 MW. Construction and operation of the plant need to be in the hands of experts with financial interest in returns. With EPA loan guaranties, experienced engineering companies are willing to assist with financing. After researching this county’s available biomass feed stock, they can give the city a free estimate and power point presentation.

PG&E connection is available. The possibility of connecting electricity to the transfer station below the lake dam also exists. The owner of Vichy Springs resort had no objection to using the biogas for energy production. He would even consider buying surplus hot water. Regarding opening the dump for more refuse disposal, he and the neighborhood would be against it and prepared to sue.

The LFG task force proposes the city’s 200 acre site as ideal location for this

“Capital Improvement Project”, creating jobs, clean energy and income for the next generation. To learn more visit

One Comment

Let’s get going on this for Ukiah!!