Two million man-hours on landfill gas analysis


Source: QED Environmental Systems Ltd.

Portable landfill gas analysers from Leamington Spa are at work every day throughout the UK and around the world. Leading manufacture, Geotech has been making its current range since 2007 and previous ranges since the early 1990s, over twenty years ago. They are at work in their thousands in the UK, USA, Asia, Europe, and Africa; quite simply; in most countries. A calculation of the number in work and usage estimates, gives annual global usage of Geotech landfill gas analyser of more than two million man-hours per year. So working well to save time and money is essential.

Recent enhancements include a GPS module which confirms the exact position of a borehole and stores the GPS data with the gas readings. This data is to legal-evidence quality which can help ensure repeatability essential for QA and for environmental agencies’ investigations or consultancy site audit and analysis in landfill or remediation. In some countries landfill gas analyser GPS capability is demanded or becoming required and in New Zealand it is already mandatory. Beyond vitally important compliance the GPS facility offers a potentially even bigger financial gain. It can help landfill technicians, or those new to a site, quickly locate each borehole even if hidden in grass and bushes. Anyone can use it. New users can be as quick as site-experience technicians. That saves time. With two million man-hours in use every year, small savings can make a big difference.

Borehole coordinates in the analyser’s GPS, when downloaded to a PC with the Geotech Gas Analysis Manager (GAM) program, enable the site and locations to be displayed on a Google Earth™ map in moments and at no additional cost. That can further assist new users, ensure accurate repeatable quality and can help save time and money.

Before GPS arrived, in 2003 the GA2000plus and GEM 2000plus became the first portable landfill gas analysers to give accurate readings in the presence of hydrogen (H2), with H2 compensated carbon monoxide (CO) measurement technology. This was followed with another first in 2008 with MCerts in the UK to meet the Environments Agency standards.

What now seems unremarkable is in fact completely remarkable. Essentially these accurate landfill gas analysers, which can work safely in explosive atmospheres, enable landfill operator technicians each to accurately measure and analyse some 50-100 boreholes a day to meet with environmental compliance targets. The GEM2000 version enables technicians to balance landfill gas fields and maximise waste to energy financial returns. That can also help them meet the demands of a growing global market for renewable energy, CDM2 and carbon credits.

These analysers are in-field calibrated by users with bottles of gas of known concentration and they store the borehole and calibration readings ready for data recording or transfer into PCs. It was to meet those specifications, and many others that Geotech introduced the GA2000 in 1999. Naturally, such a portable precision piece of measuring equipment must also meet the basic requirements as well. It has, as it must, robust design, an easy-to-read backlit screen, a key pad which can be operated by gloved hands in freezing weather, internal rechargeable batteries which last a full day, to complete the rigorous gas monitoring routines on ever-more demanding sites.

Many GA2000 landfill gas analysers are in use 52 weeks a year so the necessary back-to-factory service and factory re-calibration is completed within the Geotech back-to-user-in-seven-days target. That is completed to rigorous UKAS 17025 accreditation standards further confirming accuracy and quality to legal audit standards.

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