SIDEBAR: How Bioreactor Technology Works

• On the east end of the dump stands a tower that stores sludgy recycled trash water containing bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms or microbes.

• The yucky mix flows from the storage tower into horizontal perforated pipes that line the landfill.

• The liquid is then injected into the trash, where it acts as food for hungry microbes, causing the trash to decompose much faster than it normally would. 

• Accelerated decomposition means faster generation of valuable gaseous byproducts — methane and carbon dioxide.  

• Another set of vertical pipes act like wells, sucking up the gas and transferring it to a processing facility on the west end of the land.

• Machinery at the processing site sterilizes and separates the gases, preparing them for sale to Atmos Energy and other customers. 

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