Landfill Gas Testing

A landfill using Zeomatrix technology

As the need grows for more diverse and environmentally friendly energy sources, a surprising contender has emerged as a possible solution to the problem. The conversion of landfills’ natural gas to fuel is useful, inexpensive and a healthy alternative to harmful, costly fuel sources such as oil or coal. Landfill gas (LFG) fuel is a practical and potentially lucrative resource for an industry in search of green energy alternatives. Using landfill gas as fuel could not only prove a convenient source of power, but could even provide a potential fix to the problem of increasing waste production in the United States (there are now 3,091 active landfills in the US, as well as over 10,000 inactive landfills).

The Process Development Center is one of the only landfill gas testing facilities in the northeast, offering its clients cutting-edge analysis and fast results. Our laboratory is equipped with sophisticated gas chromatographs (GCs), which are capable of precisely determining the identity and quantity of each chemical component present in a sample of LFG. The PDC’s analytical laboratory can help clients meet the requirements of state Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) regulations for their landfill. Our laboratories also offer landfill gas testing to facilitate the production of fuel at LFG burning plants.

The convenience of landfill gas containment is one of its most positive attributes as an energy source. Not only is landfill gas readily accessible, but its removal from landfills is greatly beneficial to the environment. Landfills contain a variable mixture of organic gaseous compounds, some of which are contaminants or even occasionally radioactive. The heterogeneous nature of landfills makes them unpredictable, which adds an extra layer of difficulty to processing the desired gases. One particularly problematic gas is sulfur, a compound which also happens to be the primary source of landfill gas odor.

Landfills produce large amounts of gases that are hazardous when they are released into the air. Fires, environmental contamination and even explosions can occur around landfills. For these reasons, certain state regulations require the periodic testing of landfill gas in order to ensure safety. By removing the gas entirely from the landfill, these dangers can be avoided altogether. The conversion of landfill gas to energy could end up being the solution to both an environmental safety issue and to the industry’s search for an alternative fuel source.

Some examples of tests that we can perform include:

  • Gas Component Analysis in conformance with ASTM 1945 (methane, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen sulfide, GHV, relative density)
  • Sulfur Analysis in conformance with ASTM 5504 (hydrogen sulfide, carbonyl sulfide, methyl mercaptan, ethyl mercaptan, dimethyl sulfide, carbon disulfide, i-Propyl mercaptan, t-Butyl mercaptan, ethyl methyl sulfide, thipphene, diethyl sulfide, dimethyl disulfide, ethyl methyl disulfide, diethyl disulfide, total sulfur)


To find out more about the PDC’s analytical capabilities, contact Pros Bennett, our Managing Director. After scheduling your work, visit our Shipping Information and Sample Submission pages and fill out our Gas Sample Submission Form.