A nylon 11 resin made by Arkema Inc. is helping a Nebraska community draw energy from a decommissioned landfill.
A piping system using Arkema's Rilsan-brand nylon 11 was installed earlier this year and started operating in June at the site in Douglas County, near Omaha. Rilsan is used throughout the system, including in pipes, fitting and joining systems, Arkema oil and gas market manager Brandon Babe said in a recent phone interview.
The Rilsan-based system is less expensive than a similar steel system, providing capital expenditure savings of $95,000 per mile and maintenance savings of $6,300 per mile. The system collects methane landfill gas from the State Street Landfill, which closed in 1989 and has been flaring the gas since 1995. The system then cleans the gas before conveying it to local utilities, Babe said.
The system is expected to produce as much as 140 billion British thermal units of untreated gas. Rilsan — derived from biorenewable castor oil — also has performance advantages vs. lower-priced high density polyethylene pipe, Babe explained.
The piping system was designed and built under the Hyperlast trade name by Georg Fischer Central Plastics LLC of Shawnee, Okla. GFCP is a unit of global piping leader Georg Fischer AG of Schaffhausen, Germany. Arkema and GFCP were joined in the Nebraska project by BioResource Development (BRD) LLC, an Omaha-based biofuels firm.
In a news release, BRD co-founder Greg MacLean said that Arkema's Rilsan material “not only enabled us to meet the delivery pressure requirements of the local utility, it helped keep our overall capital costs down.” That, in turn, helped maintain the project's viability, he added.
The system's quick installation “was icing on the cake,” McLean said.
The firms now are looking to market the Rilsan system to other landfills. Three landfills in the Midwest U.S. already have shown interest in the system, Babe said.
Philadelphia-based Arkema is a unit of Arkema Group of Colombes, France. The firm makes specialty chemicals and materials, including nylons, fluoropolymers and acrylic resins used in its Altuglas acrylic sheet. Arkema employs 19,000 worldwide and has annual sales of $9.5 billion.