Management of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Landfills RFP

The Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF) Board of Directors has identified a high priority research topic in the area of managing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills and has issued a request for pre-proposals (RFP) on the topic to support the long-term needs and strategic direction of the solid waste industry.

Management of GHG emissions from landfills is an important aspect of the day to day operation of landfills across the US due to the need for management of landfill gas (LFG). This process is complex and site specific depending on the operational conditions and geographical location and will continue to be even more challenging as federal, state and/or local agencies and sustainability organizations establish more stringent standards for reporting and reducing emissions. The emission of focus for this RFP is methane and includes the generation, collection, quantification, and utilization. Understanding the generation, collection and management of methane emissions holistically at landfills is important to not only reduce GHG emissions and but also to demonstrate how operational and regulatory guidance impacts estimated, measured or computed emission rates. In order to be able to address these aspects of the management of methane emissions at landfills, the industry needs to be able to overcome challenges with quantifying emissions due to the varying waste composition and the complexity of the landfill environment and ability to collect reproducible and accurate field data.

Research Focus Areas
Submissions of scientific research pre-proposals related to the management of methane emissions from MSW landfills are invited in the following areas:

  • Methodologies for Direct Emission Measurements (baseline emissions and emission reductions)
    • surface emission monitoring (SEM) technologies
    • remote sensing using ground, aerial, and satellite-based technologies to measure emissions
    • what methodologies and algorithms should be used to turn measured methane concentration data into flux or emission values
    • utilization of industry data to correlate and validate new methodologies relative to currently approved regulatory methods
  • Comparison of Regulatory Reporting Guidelines to Industry Measured Data
    • how do methane emissions estimated using the current U.S. Environmental Protection Agency GHG reporting rule compare to measured data from the various technologies being used by the solid waste industry? 
  • Emission Generation and Characterization
    • methane generation, oxidation, and fugitive emission quantification
    • approach to determine overall facility emissions by integrating existing and new methods of direct emissions measurements
  • Methane Emission Reduction Strategies

Pre-proposals submitted in response to this RFP should consider the focus areas noted herein. Projects and research previously funded by the Foundation can be viewed on its website. Previously awarded grants have ranged from $15,000 to over $500,000 with the average grant amount in recent years being $160,000. Typical project durations are about 2 years.

Submission Instructions and Deadline
The pre-proposal template must be used for all submissions and is available online. This template also includes details on formatting your submission. Pre-proposal submissions are limited to two submissions per primary Principal Investigator (PI), however a PI may be on multiple pre-proposals if it is demonstrated that it will not affect his or her ability to fulfill the scope of work in the primary investigation.

All submissions must include the project duration and budget. If invited to submit a full proposal, the budget cannot exceed the amount outlined in the pre-proposal submission. EREF will not pay indirect or overhead costs in excess of 25%. Cost sharing is permitted but not required. Additional details on budget guidelines and restrictions can be found on EREF’s website.

Pre-proposals are currently being accepted online and will continue until the close of business (5:00 p.m. eastern time) on February 5, 2021.  Pre-proposals must be received during this window to be considered. Late submissions will not be accepted.