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Abstract

In this research study, we expose that it is not just practical however economically viable and ecologically useful to utilize landfill gas (LFG) for digital asset calculate (e.g., Bitcoin mining). To support this theory, Marathon partnered with Nodal Power to harness excess capability from their job, which is specifically powered by landfill methane gas. This collaboration, leveraging Nodal’s trademarked innovation, effectively used methane from a landfill, transformed it into electrical power, and utilized it to power the on-site information center. This procedure showed to be regularly dependable, with high uptime and emerged economically useful for Marathon and Nodal. The expense of electrical power was significantly lower than the market average, and the landfill produced income from a formerly untapped resource that would otherwise have actually been squandered. Additionally, powering calculate with landfill gas effectively lowered methane emissions. In circumstances where the landfill would have resorted to flaring the methane, digital asset calculate shown to be more efficient in reducing emissions.

This pilot job was Marathon’s very first effective trial run of “energy harvesting,” that includes efforts devoted to transforming waste into energy, methane gas regain, supporting energy grids by making use of stranded or excess energy, and recycling heat produced by information centers for commercial and industrial functions.

Click HERE to download a PDF of the complete report

Introduction

Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas with an international warming possible 80 times higher than co2 over a 20-year duration. According to the Global Methane Assessment, “achieving methane emissions reductions in the next decade will keep the planet significantly cooler than attempts to cut carbon dioxide emissions alone.” In our Cashing in on Trash report, we mentioned that land fills are accountable for 11% of international methane emissions, with current research studies recommending that these emissions may be 1.4 to 2.6 times greater than formerly approximated.

Recognizing that land fills are significant emitters of methane, our companied believe there was an chance to make land fills more sustainable with our digital asset calculate innovations. Large land fills efficient in producing adequate amounts of methane have the choice to economically minimize their emissions through waste-to-energy conversion innovations. These websites can transform recorded methane into 2 types of sustainable energy: 1) electrical power, which can be offered to the grid, and 2) sustainable gas (RNG), which can be dispersed through pipelines. Unfortunately, conventional waste-to-energy conversion techniques are typically not practical or affordable for smaller sized or more remote land fills. In our report, we proposed a more viable, win-win option that our companied believe was practical today for smaller sized land fills: capture methane from land fills, transform it into electrical power, and power digital asset information centers to economically minimize methane emissions.

To test our theory, Marathon introduced a pilot job by signing up with Nodal’s off-grid digital asset calculate center to power a Bitcoin information center with 100% sustainable, off-grid energy from a landfill.

Pilot Details

  • Location: Utah, U.S.A.
  • Launch Date: September 27, 2023
  • Pilot Status: On-going
  • Duration: 240+ days
  • Capacity: 270 kW
  • Computing Equipment: 83 S19J Pros
  • Operational Hash Rate (computing power): 8.3 PH/s

Figure 1: Marathon’s and Nodal’s Project

Source: Nodal Power

Source: Nodal Power

The arises from this pilot supported our preliminary theory. Marathon and Nodal used methane from the landfill and transformed it into electrical power to power a digital asset information center. The landfill effectively lowered its methane emissions while producing an income stream it otherwise might not have actually made. Marathon and Nodal understood an energy expense substantially below the market average and kept an above-average functional uptime. Additionally, this was Marathon’s very first effective trial of “energy harvesting,” marking a substantial turning point in our advancement of sustainable and inclusive energy jobs. These jobs consist of transforming waste into energy, methane gas regain, supporting the energy grid by making use of stranded or excess energy, and recycling heat produced by mining systems for commercial and industrial procedures.

Definitions and Calculations of Key Metrics

During our pilot job, we tracked numerous metrics to assess the efficiency and effect of our operations. The following are the crucial metrics utilized in this report, each laid out with its meaning and computation approach.

Average Operational Hash Rate

The typical hash rate or computing power that was produced throughout a particular period from all functional digital asset computing gadgets, determined in petahashes per second (PH/s).

Pool reported hash rate each day / Total days

Operational Uptime

The portion of time that the computing gadgets were practical and actively operating.

Operational uptime = Minutes with swimming pool reported hash rate / Total minutes

Methane Utilized

The volume of methane gas (CH4) that was utilized for generation, determined in Standard Cubic Feet (SCF).

CH4 used (SCF) = Average petahash (PH/s) × Methane usage rate (SCF/PH/s/Day) × Days

Carbon Dioxide Equivalent Emissions (C02e)

CO2e measures the international warming effect of numerous greenhouse gases, like methane, by comparing their result to that of an comparable quantity of co2. This contrast is based upon each gas’s Global Warming Potential (GWP), an element that represents the relative warming result of a unit of the gas relative to the exact same system of CO2 over a particular amount of time. We utilized a GWP timeline of twenty years (aspect: 84) and 100 years (aspect: 28).

C02e = CH4 pounds used * GWP aspect

Note: We presumed one SCF of CH4 equates to 0.045 pounds at one environment and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Average Fuel Cost per Kilowatt-hour (kWh)

The typical expense of electrical power per kWh consists of functional and upkeep expenditures.

Average Fuel Cost per kWh =

(SCF × 0.001002 dekatherms per SCF × methane material portion × rate per dekatherm / kwh) + (operations and upkeep expense / kWh)

Results

The results provided in this area show the very first 240 days of the pilot job, covering from September 27, 2023, to May 24, 2024. It is essential to note that these findings do not incorporate the whole period of the job however focus particularly on this duration.

Methane Utilized

Over the course of 240 days, we used roughly 16.1 million SCF of methane. This figure was approximated from the everyday usage rate, which was roughly 8,400 SCF of methane for each petahash functional.

Had we not utilized this methane, the landfill would have flared it. While flaring does minimize the international warming capacity of methane by transforming it into co2, it is just about 92% effective. On average, 8% of flared methane still gets away into the environment. By rerouting the methane to power a reciprocating engine to produce electrical power for Nodal’s information center, we accomplished a near 100% mitigation performance. This approach led to us reducing an extra 672 SCF of methane everyday per petahash, which would otherwise not have actually been reduced by flaring. In the period of 240 days, we avoided the release of roughly 1.3 million SCF of methane into the environment.

Figure 2: Methane Utilized by Marathon’s and Nodal’s LFG Pilot Project (240 Day Duration)

Source: Nodal Power

Carbon Dioxide Equivalent Impact

To contextualize the ecological effect of our pilot job, we determined its methane usage in its co2 equivalent utilizing a GWP timeline of twenty years and 100 years.

Of the overall 16.1 million SCF of methane we used, our findings suggest that we assisted avoid the release of roughly 60.9 million pounds of C02e utilizing a 20-year GWP timeline and 20.3 million pounds of CO2e utilizing the 100-year GWP timeline.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), an typical gas-powered automobile produces about 9,200 pounds of C02 yearly. Thus, throughout 240 days, our job reduced the equivalent of 6,627 gas-powered automobile utilizing the 20-year GWP timeline and 2,209 gas-powered automobile utilizing the 100-year GWP timeline.

If we just think about the extra 1.2 million SCF of methane reduced in addition to flaring, we avoided the release of roughly 4.8 million pounds of C02e utilizing a 20-year GWP timeline and roughly 1.6 million pounds of CO2e utilizing the 100-year GWP timeline. Thus, throughout 240 days, our job reduced the equivalent of the annual emissions from 530 gas-powered automobile utilizing the 20-year GWP timeline and 177 gas-powered automobile utilizing the 100-year GWP timeline.

Figure 3: Carbon Dioxide Equivalent Methane Utilized by Marathon’s and Nodal’s LFG Pilot Project (240 Day Duration)

Source: Nodal Power

Operational Efficiency and Uptime

We utilized a reciprocating engine on-site to transform the methane into electrical power. This engine produced up to 10,000 BTU per kWh, corresponding to a conversion performance of roughly 34%. Compared to the typical coal and existing nuclear reactor, which run at an performance of around 32% and 33%, respectively, Nodal’s generator ran at a somewhat greater performance.

Figure 4: Efficiency of the Average Natural Gas Power Plants, Existing Nuclear Power Plants, and Coal Power Plants Versus Nodal’s On-Site Reciprocating Generator

Source: Nodal Power, EIA

Figure 5: On-Site Reciprocating Generator and Data Center

Source: Nodal Power

Moreover, to successfully harness the methane for generator usage, it went through treatment through a gas compression and conditioning skid. This vital action fine-tuned and pressurized the methane to fulfill needed requirements. The degree of treatment depends upon the gas quality, straight affected by the landfill’s raw material structure. In this specific case, the landfill gas consisted of roughly 50% methane, leading to a relatively lower level of treatment requirement.

Figure 6: Gas Compression and Conditioning Skid

Source: Nodal Power

An essential element of the job’s success was the landfill’s capability to produce a constant stream of methane due to its beneficial waste structure and volume. Going into the job, we anticipated an functional uptime of 85%, which is roughly on par with the market average. However, our pilot surpassed expectations, attaining an uptime of 92%. Downtimes were mostly due to upkeep functions and were not due to an absence of gas accessibility.

Figure 7: Average Operational Uptime of Marathon’s and Nodal’s Pilot Project

Source: Nodal Power, TheMinerMag

*The typical uptime of digital asset calculate suppliers is based upon the average Bitcoin hash rate awareness rate. These suppliers consist of Iris Energy, Bitdeer Technologies Group, Hive Digital Technologies, Bit Digital, CleanSpark, TeraWulf, Core Scientific, Cipher Mining Technologies, Riot Platforms, Marathon Digital Holdings, Argo Blockchain, Hut 8, and Digihost Technology. The information was accessed on May 28, 2024, and might have altered ever since.

Financial Benefits for Marathon, Nodal, and the Landfill

Nodal’s Power Plant creates electrical power at a rate of $0.03 per kWh, that includes functional and upkeep expenses. This rate is less than half the typical $0.08 per kWh paid by the commercial sector.

Figure 8: Average Fuel Costs Including Electricity, Operational, and Maintenance Costs of Marathon’s and Nodal’s LFG Pilot Project

Source: Nodal Power, Hashrate Index

Our pilot job was not qualified for carbon credits or renewable resource credits (RECs), advantages that lots of comparable websites typically get. If we had actually gotten approved for these rewards, our computing expenditures would have been substantially lower.

Over the 240 days, Marathon and Nodal used roughly 1.4 million kWh of electrical power, which the landfill was able to produce income from. Without Marathon’s and Nodal’s pilot job, the landfill would have flared the excess methane, yielding no extra monetary advantage. Faced with restricted choices, the landfill might either flare the methane with no monetary gain or harness it to power an on-site information center. The latter choice, as evidenced by the pilot job, not just avoided waste however also turned a formerly unprofitable by-product into a source of income.

Conclusion

The arises from our pilot job effectively verified our preliminary theory. Digital asset calculate is not just possible however also an economically viable choice to minimize methane emissions from land fills. Marathon and Nodal effectively recorded methane from a landfill, transformed it into electrical power, and utilized it to power Nodal’s information center. For information center operators like Marathon and Nodal, the job was economically helpful, as we understood a lower-than-industry typical expense for computing with dependably high uptime. For the landfill, which formerly did not have an reward to put the methane gas into efficient usage, digital asset calculate supplied a driver to minimize emissions better by developing a brand-new earnings stream that otherwise might not have actually been produced. This job was, undoubtedly, a win-win for all celebrations included.

Furthermore, our company believe the methods and insights acquired from this job unlock to brand-new chances at landfill websites and other markets where we can utilize our energy gathering innovations to tap underutilized or squandered energy sources and turn them into efficient, more sustainable properties.

Click HERE to download a PDF of the complete report

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