SBU-Tongji Innovative Biogas Management

Capture and utilize methane from municipal solid waste.

In keeping with the Energy and Environment theme of the EcoPartnership program, the Stony Brook-Tongji collaboration is addressing greenhouse gas emissions from landfills, one of the most critical issues of our time. Tongji is developing a model that can significantly improve the accuracy of emissions estimates, while Stony Brook is perfecting an innovative technology to economically removal impurities and produce a clean fuel for transportation, heating, or electricity generation. The environmental impact of the process being developed under this collaboration versus releasing fugitive gases is noted. By the culmination of this partnership, both sides have developed economical pathways to effectively utilize fugitive gases and commercialized technologies for transportation use and power generation for offering in both countries.

Key Accomplishments:

Professor Mahajan at Stony Brook University helped set-up an advanced R&D laboratory fitted with modern instrumentation at Tongji University in the area of liquid fuels production from landfill (fugitive) gases of CH4 and CO2. In December 2016, a Ph.D. student was awarded a grant from Tongji University to visit Professor Mahajan’s laboratory for four months to develop a technology to find an economical method to dewater sewage sludge. 

In 2016, Professor Mahajan received $150,000 funding from New York State through a special program that funds small-scale demonstration technologies. 

A collaborative proposal between Nanjing Institute of Environmental Sciences (NIES), Tongji University and Stony Brook University (collaborator) titled: “Study on the landfill gas (methane) reduction and resource use technology” was funded by the Ministry of Science & Technology (MOST), China for RMB 600,000. Funded in 2015, it will continue till December 2017.

In January 2017, Sanyu Environmental Company paired up with Tongji University to demonstrate advanced air and water pollution technologies.

The EcoPartnership has also hosted two Fugitive Gas Workshops in Beijing (2014) and Changsha (2017).

There is a planned pilot project to demonstrate deep sulfur removal technology at the Town of Brookhaven, Long Island (U.S.). The technology is to be tested at the Xian landfill (China). 

Work Plan: 
Task 1
Develop advanced methods and technologies to manage and harvest CH4 and CO2 emissions for fuel production from local sources.
Task 2
Provide training to students and faculty through participation. Organize technical forums to increase STEM opportunities in LFG.
Task 3
Disseminate information to scientific community and students through bilateral workshops and technical forums.
Task 4
Identify opportunities and submit individual and/or joint proposals to funding organizations to speed up LFG related technology development.
Task 5
Expand collaboration with other EcoPartners and stakeholders, define parameters to make a compelling case for a joint US-China center on fugitive gases.