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Modern Landfill

Intern Rebecca Lukac is a senior at SUNY Albany, School of Atmospheric Sciences majoring in environmental sciences. She completed three years of mechanical engineering at Drexel University prior to transferring to SUNY. Modern Landfill is a municipal solid waste landfill located northeast of Niagara Falls in Model City. The facility requested an intern to evaluate different technologies which could reduce emissions and improve fuel efficiencies of their numerous fleets of vehicles. Ms. Lukac narrowed the focus of the study to 11 fleets comprising 138 on-road diesel vehicles. After an in depth literature review of potentially applicable technologies, she evaluated a diesel oxidation catalyst, diesel particulate filter, biodiesel 20%, and biodiesel 100%. These technologies were evaluated for the 11 fleets using the desktop EPA Diesel Emissions Quantifier Model to calculate emissions estimates of nitrogen oxides (NOx), particulates (PM), hydrocarbons (HC), carbon monoxide (CO) and carbon dioxide (CO2). Ms. Lukac interviewed the vehicle maintenance supervisor for potential impacts of the retrofits. Based on the model results and her other research, she recommended that the facility switch the fleet to 100% biodiesel fuel. Biodiesel is available locally through a manufacturer. If implemented for all vehicles in the 11 fleets, the facility would reduce CO by 5.83 tons, hydrocarbons by 1.62 tons, and particulates by 0.44 tons. NOx emissions would increase 10%, or 5.31 tons/year. A detailed cost estimate in switching the fleet to biodiesel was beyond the scope of the internship. However, biodiesel is more costly than diesel, and operating the fleet on biodiesel would not be cost effective. The Company is not planning to implement the project at this time.

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