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methane gas burners

updated wed 23 dec 98


Bruce Girrell on tue 22 dec 98

> I have become involved with a conservation group working with the
> EPA setting
> up a project using methane from a local landfill to fire kilns. Not much
> information on the net about this except that the BTU's are about i/2 of
> natural gas and that the gas is very corrosive. Does anyone have any
> information on this? ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^


Given the source of the gas and the information that it is corrosive, I'd
say you're dealing with methane containing a significant fraction of
hydrogen sulfide (H2S).

H2S is _EXTREMELY_ poisonous and insidious. It is insidious because 1) it is
heavier than air and collects in low spots and 2) while it has a strong
odor, usually described as a "rotten egg" odor, it kills your sense of smell
very quickly. Of all the things in the oil field that can kill you, H2S is
one of the ones most likely to get you. It can literally drop a man in his

H2S is not only bad for humans. Ferrous metals are attacked by H2S. Failure
of pipes/supports/whatever from H2S is usually described as "catastrophic
and without warning."

Check with your sources for the presence of H2S. You may have to install a
scrubber ($$$) before you can use the gas. H2S is extremely flammable,
though I'm not sure about the BTU output. While it may seem a waste to scrub
the H2S if you could burn it, I would not want to be around if you tried to
burn it, especially if the kiln went into reduction. If you do have H2S,
anyone who works in the area will need to be H2S certified. You will need
air packs for everyone.

Good luck,

Bruce "H2S is bad, bad news" Girrell