Archaea Energy: RNG production begins at Kentucky landfill

By Archaea Energy | May 13, 2021

Archaea Energy, an emerging leader in the development of renewable natural gas (RNG), announced today that its Boyd County Sanitary Landfill gas (LFG)-to-RNG project in partnership with Rumpke Waste & Recycling is fully operational. Located in Ashland, Kentucky, the plant now has the capacity to produce 2,300 MMBtu/day of pipeline-quality RNG, providing a predictable source of feedstock in perpetuity and transforming the site into a renewable energy center.

Archaea’s experienced technical and operational team enabled this LFG-to-RNG energy project to become operational in just four months after acquiring the project from another developer. Until now, the plant was unable to upgrade its LFG to meet pipeline specifications.

“Our mission was multi-faceted: to ensure that the Boyd County biogas project is fully compliant, operational, and profitable and that it benefits the tri-state communities in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia,” said Nick Stork, Archaea Energy co-founder and CEO. “Our experienced team helps landfills and off-take partners harness the power of RNG, guided by the Company’s values and a strong commitment to sustainability and decarbonization.”

Rumpke Area President Andrew Rumpke added, “We are deeply committed to the communities where we operate facilities and service customers. Partnering with Archaea on an RNG project at the Boyd County Sanitary Landfill aligns with our mission to ensure environmental compliance and safety as a responsible neighbor to the local community.”


Producing pipeline-quality RNG

The landfill currently processes about 1,400 tons of trash a day from the tri-state area within a 75-mile radius. Previous attempts by other RNG developers to increase the landfill’s methane recovery levels by implementing a nitrogen-rejection process were unsuccessful in meeting the specifications for pipeline-quality RNG without heavy blending with natural gas. Archaea has worked diligently with the Rumpke team to improve landfill gas collection, significantly reduce emissions and increase renewable gas production.

The Archaea team applied its unique knowledge of gas separation and nitrogen rejection to repair and optimize the plant to remove inert components and convert the raw LFG to RNG with high levels of methane recovery. In addition, by better managing the wellfield, Archaea is able to produce RNG without any blending of fossil natural gas.


Charlie Anderson, Archaea Energy’s Co-Founder and Director of Gas Processing, said, “Leveraging the combined experience of our technical and operational teams across over 30 biogas projects, we turned a very challenging RNG plant into a revenue-producing renewable energy project in a short timeframe. We achieved this by carefully analyzing each step of the landfill gas upgrade process to identify opportunities for the most impactful improvements and then implemented changes to re-commission the plant successfully. In particular, our expertise in separating nitrogen from RNG was key to producing RNG without blending.”

Archaea combines effective and compliant wellfield management with the technical expertise to purify raw LFG and produce pipeline-quality RNG. Boyd County Sanitary Landfill now provides a predictable source of feedstock in perpetuity and is equipped to reach its decarbonization goals, increase efficiency, and tap into new sources of revenue, all while improving the quality of life in the surrounding community.