Home CRYPTO NEWS LFG Learnings Report: Digital Asset Computing Is an Economically Viable Strategy to Lowering Landfill Methane Emissions

LFG Learnings Report: Digital Asset Computing Is an Economically Viable Strategy to Lowering Landfill Methane Emissions

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On this research, we reveal that it isn’t solely possible however economically viable and environmentally helpful to make use of landfill gasoline (LFG) for digital asset compute (e.g., Bitcoin mining). To assist this principle, Marathon partnered with Nodal Energy to harness extra capability from their mission, which is solely powered by landfill methane gasoline. This partnership, leveraging Nodal’s patented expertise, efficiently utilized methane from a landfill, transformed it into electrical energy, and used it to energy the on-site knowledge middle. This course of proved to be persistently dependable, with excessive uptime and emerged financially helpful for Marathon and Nodal. The price of electrical energy was considerably decrease than the {industry} common, and the landfill generated income from a beforehand untapped useful resource that may in any other case have been wasted. Moreover, powering compute with landfill gasoline effectively lowered methane emissions. In situations the place the landfill would have resorted to flaring the methane, digital asset compute proved to be more practical in mitigating emissions.

This pilot mission was Marathon’s first profitable take a look at run of “vitality harvesting,” which incorporates initiatives devoted to changing waste into vitality, methane gasoline recapture, stabilizing vitality grids by using stranded or extra vitality, and reusing warmth generated by knowledge facilities for industrial and business functions.

Click on HERE to obtain a PDF of the complete report



Methane is a potent greenhouse gasoline with a worldwide warming potential 80 instances better than carbon dioxide over a 20-year interval. In response to the World Methane Evaluation, “reaching methane emissions reductions within the subsequent decade will maintain the planet considerably cooler than makes an attempt to chop carbon dioxide emissions alone.” In our Cashing in on Trash report, we cited that landfills are answerable for 11% of worldwide methane emissions, with latest research suggesting that these emissions may be 1.4 to 2.6 instances increased than beforehand estimated.

Recognizing that landfills are main emitters of methane, we believed there was a chance to make landfills extra sustainable with our digital asset compute applied sciences. Giant landfills able to producing ample portions of methane have the choice to economically cut back their emissions by means of waste-to-energy conversion applied sciences. These websites can convert captured methane into two types of sustainable vitality: 1) electrical energy, which might be bought to the grid, and a couple of) renewable pure gasoline (RNG), which might be distributed by means of pipelines. Sadly, conventional waste-to-energy conversion strategies are sometimes not possible or economical for smaller or extra distant landfills. In our report, we proposed a extra viable, win-win resolution that we believed was possible right now for smaller landfills: seize methane from landfills, convert it into electrical energy, and energy digital asset knowledge facilities to economically cut back methane emissions.

To check our principle, Marathon launched a pilot mission by becoming a member of Nodal’s off-grid digital asset compute facility to energy a Bitcoin knowledge middle with 100% renewable, off-grid vitality from a landfill.

Pilot Particulars

  • Location: Utah, USA
  • Launch Date: September 27, 2023
  • Pilot Standing: On-going
  • Length: 240+ days
  • Capability: 270 kW
  • Computing Gear: 83 S19J Execs
  • Operational Hash Fee (computing energy): 8.3 PH/s

Determine 1: Marathon’s and Nodal’s Venture

Supply: Nodal Energy

Supply: Nodal Energy

The outcomes from this pilot supported our preliminary principle. Marathon and Nodal utilized methane from the landfill and transformed it into electrical energy to energy a digital asset knowledge middle. The landfill efficiently lowered its methane emissions whereas producing a income stream it in any other case couldn’t have earned. Marathon and Nodal realized an vitality price considerably beneath the {industry} common and maintained an above-average operational uptime. Moreover, this was Marathon’s first profitable trial of “vitality harvesting,” marking a big milestone in our improvement of sustainable and inclusive vitality tasks. These tasks embrace changing waste into vitality, methane gasoline recapture, stabilizing the vitality grid by using stranded or extra vitality, and reusing warmth generated by mining programs for industrial and business processes.

Definitions and Calculations of Key Metrics

Throughout our pilot mission, we tracked numerous metrics to guage the effectiveness and influence of our operations. The next are the important thing metrics used on this report, every outlined with its definition and calculation methodology.

Common Operational Hash Fee

The typical hash price or computing energy that was generated throughout a particular time interval from all operational digital asset computing gadgets, measured in petahashes per second (PH/s).

Pool reported hash price per day / Complete days

Operational Uptime

The proportion of time that the computing gadgets had been purposeful and actively working.

Operational uptime = Minutes with pool reported hash price / Complete minutes

Methane Utilized

The quantity of methane gasoline (CH4) that was harnessed for technology, measured in Customary Cubic Toes (SCF).

CH4 utilized (SCF) = Common petahash (PH/s) × Methane utilization price (SCF/PH/s/Day) × Days

Carbon Dioxide Equal Emissions (C02e)

CO2e quantifies the worldwide warming influence of varied greenhouse gases, like methane, by evaluating their impact to that of an equal quantity of carbon dioxide. This comparability is predicated on every gasoline’s World Warming Potential (GWP), an element that represents the comparative warming impact of a unit of the gasoline relative to the identical unit of CO2 over a particular time-frame. We used a GWP timeline of 20 years (issue: 84) and 100 years (issue: 28).

C02e = CH4 kilos utilized * GWP issue

Observe: We assumed one SCF of CH4 equals 0.045 kilos at one environment and 80 levels Fahrenheit.

Common Gas Price per Kilowatt-hour (kWh)

The typical price of electrical energy per kWh contains operational and upkeep bills.

Common Gas Price per kWh =

(SCF × 0.001002 dekatherms per SCF × methane content material proportion × price per dekatherm / kwh) + (operations and upkeep price / kWh)


The outcomes offered on this part mirror the primary 240 days of the pilot mission, spanning from September 27, 2023, to Might 24, 2024. You will need to observe that these findings don’t embody your complete length of the mission however focus particularly on this era.

Methane Utilized

Over the course of 240 days, we utilized roughly 16.1 million SCF of methane. This determine was estimated from the each day utilization price, which was roughly 8,400 SCF of methane for every petahash operational.

Had we not harnessed this methane, the landfill would have flared it. Whereas flaring does cut back the worldwide warming potential of methane by changing it into carbon dioxide, it’s only about 92% environment friendly. On common, 8% of flared methane nonetheless escapes into the environment. By redirecting the methane to energy a reciprocating engine to supply electrical energy for Nodal’s knowledge middle, we achieved a close to 100% mitigation effectivity. This strategy resulted in us mitigating an extra 672 SCF of methane each day per petahash, which might in any other case not have been mitigated by flaring. Within the span of 240 days, we prevented the discharge of roughly 1.3 million SCF of methane into the environment.

Determine 2: Methane Utilized by Marathon’s and Nodal’s LFG Pilot Venture (240 Day Length)

Supply: Nodal Energy

Carbon Dioxide Equal Influence

To contextualize the environmental influence of our pilot mission, we calculated its methane utilization in its carbon dioxide equal utilizing a GWP timeline of 20 years and 100 years.

Of the entire 16.1 million SCF of methane we utilized, our findings point out that we helped forestall the discharge of roughly 60.9 million kilos of C02e utilizing a 20-year GWP timeline and 20.3 million kilos of CO2e utilizing the 100-year GWP timeline.

In response to the Environmental Safety Company (EPA), a median gas-powered passenger automotive emits about 9,200 kilos of C02 yearly. Thus, over the course of 240 days, our mission mitigated the equal of 6,627 gas-powered passenger vehicles utilizing the 20-year GWP timeline and a couple of,209 gas-powered passenger vehicles utilizing the 100-year GWP timeline.

If we solely take into account the extra 1.2 million SCF of methane mitigated along with flaring, we prevented the discharge of roughly 4.8 million kilos of C02e utilizing a 20-year GWP timeline and roughly 1.6 million kilos of CO2e utilizing the 100-year GWP timeline. Thus, over the course of 240 days, our mission mitigated the equal of the yearly emissions from 530 gas-powered passenger vehicles utilizing the 20-year GWP timeline and 177 gas-powered passenger vehicles utilizing the 100-year GWP timeline.

Determine 3: Carbon Dioxide Equal Methane Utilized by Marathon’s and Nodal’s LFG Pilot Venture (240 Day Length)

Supply: Nodal Energy

Operational Effectivity and Uptime

We used a reciprocating engine on-site to transform the methane into electrical energy. This engine produced as much as 10,000 BTU per kWh, equating to a conversion effectivity of roughly 34%. In comparison with the typical coal and current nuclear energy vegetation, which function at an effectivity of round 32% and 33%, respectively, Nodal’s generator operated at a barely increased effectivity.

Determine 4: Effectivity of the Common Pure Gasoline Energy Crops, Present Nuclear Energy Crops, and Coal Energy Crops Versus Nodal’s On-Website Reciprocating Generator

Supply: Nodal Energy, EIA

Determine 5: On-Website Reciprocating Generator and Knowledge Heart

Supply: Nodal Energy

Furthermore, to successfully harness the methane for generator use, it underwent therapy by means of a gasoline compression and conditioning skid. This significant step refined and pressurized the methane to fulfill crucial requirements. The extent of therapy relies on the gasoline high quality, immediately influenced by the landfill’s natural matter composition. On this explicit case, the landfill gasoline contained roughly 50% methane, leading to a relatively decrease stage of therapy requirement.

Determine 6: Gasoline Compression and Conditioning Skid

Supply: Nodal Energy

A key facet of the mission’s success was the landfill’s skill to generate a constant stream of methane attributable to its favorable waste composition and quantity. Going into the mission, we anticipated an operational uptime of 85%, which is roughly on par with the {industry} common. Nonetheless, our pilot exceeded expectations, reaching an uptime of 92%. Downtimes had been primarily attributable to upkeep functions and weren’t attributable to a scarcity of gasoline availability.

Determine 7: Common Operational Uptime of Marathon’s and Nodal’s Pilot Venture

Supply: Nodal Energy, TheMinerMag

*The typical uptime of digital asset compute suppliers is predicated on the typical Bitcoin hash price realization price. These suppliers embrace Iris Power, Bitdeer Applied sciences Group, Hive Digital Applied sciences, Bit Digital, CleanSpark, TeraWulf, Core Scientific, Cipher Mining Applied sciences, Riot Platforms, Marathon Digital Holdings, Argo Blockchain, Hut 8, and Digihost Know-how. The information was accessed on Might 28, 2024, and should have modified since then.

Monetary Advantages for Marathon, Nodal, and the Landfill

Nodal’s Energy Plant generates electrical energy at a price of $0.03 per kWh, which incorporates operational and upkeep prices. This price is lower than half the typical $0.08 per kWh paid by the commercial sector.

Determine 8: Common Gas Prices Together with Electrical energy, Operational, and Upkeep Prices of Marathon’s and Nodal’s LFG Pilot Venture

Supply: Nodal Energy, Hashrate Index

Our pilot mission was not eligible for carbon credit or renewable vitality credit (RECs), advantages that many related websites usually obtain. If we had certified for these incentives, our computing bills would have been considerably decrease.

Over the 240 days, Marathon and Nodal utilized roughly 1.4 million kWh of electrical energy, which the landfill was in a position to generate income from. With out Marathon’s and Nodal’s pilot mission, the landfill would have flared the surplus methane, yielding no extra monetary profit. Confronted with restricted choices, the landfill may both flare the methane with none monetary acquire or harness it to energy an on-site knowledge middle. The latter choice, as evidenced by the pilot mission, not solely prevented waste but additionally turned a beforehand unprofitable byproduct right into a income.


The outcomes from our pilot mission efficiently validated our preliminary principle. Digital asset compute is just not solely attainable but additionally an economically viable choice to cut back methane emissions from landfills. Marathon and Nodal efficiently captured methane from a landfill, transformed it into electrical energy, and used it to energy Nodal’s knowledge middle. For knowledge middle operators like Marathon and Nodal, the mission was financially advantageous, as we realized a lower-than-industry common price for computing with reliably excessive uptime. For the landfill, which beforehand didn’t have an incentive to place the methane gasoline into productive use, digital asset compute offered a catalyst to cut back emissions extra successfully by creating a brand new earnings stream that in any other case couldn’t have been generated. This mission was, certainly, a win-win for all events concerned.

Moreover, we consider the strategies and insights gained from this mission open the door to new alternatives at landfill websites and different industries the place we are able to leverage our vitality harvesting applied sciences to faucet underutilized or wasted vitality sources and switch them into productive, extra sustainable belongings.

Click on HERE to obtain a PDF of the complete report

Disclaimer: This report is offered for basic informational functions solely. The opinions expressed within the report might differ from these expressed by Marathon Digital Holdings (“MDH”), its officers, staff, administrators or advisors or their associates. The knowledge on this report doesn’t represent funding, authorized, accounting or different recommendation or data by MDH or its officers, staff, administrators or advisors or their associates. Data has been obtained from sources believed to be dependable, however MDH or its associates don’t warrant its completeness or accuracy. Outlooks and previous efficiency should not ensures of future outcomes. The knowledge within the report could also be modified with out discover and isn’t assured to be full, right or up-to-date, and should not mirror probably the most present developments.

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