Thursday, March 14, 2024

REPORT: Marathon Digital Holdings X BM PRO Current Cashing In On Trash

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The next report is a collaboration between Marathon Digital Holdings Inc. and Bitcoin Journal Professional on integrating bitcoin mining into landfill administration and methane mitigation.


  • Landfills are a big contributor to international methane emissions, which, if mitigated, may have a larger environmental influence than managing carbon dioxide emissions.
  • Standard methane administration strategies, resembling venting and flaring, are inefficient and environmentally damaging, whereas waste-to-energy options, like promoting electrical energy to the grid or distributing renewable pure fuel (RNG) through pipelines, usually show economically infeasible for smaller or distant landfills.
  • Bitcoin mining affords a market-based method to lowering methane emissions from landfills by changing in any other case wasted potential power into financial worth. Bitcoin mining requires minimal investments in infrastructure, and it’s geographically versatile, modular, and scalable. In idea, Bitcoin mining can due to this fact assist any landfill, no matter its dimension and geographic location, scale back its emissions whereas benefiting from a further stream of revenue.


Landfills worldwide face a rising downside with methane emissions, a potent greenhouse fuel (GHG), as they battle to handle ever-increasing volumes of waste. The standard strategies of coping with this concern, venting and flaring, are inefficient and infrequently environmentally dangerous. Furthermore, present waste-to-energy options sometimes solely work economically for bigger landfills positioned close to metropolis facilities, leaving smaller or distant landfills and not using a possible different.

This report introduces a brand new resolution to mitigating landfill methane emissions: a partnership between landfills and Bitcoin miners that leverages electrical energy generated from landfill waste for Bitcoin mining on-site (i.e., off-grid). This collaboration may provide a return on funding (ROI) by creating a further revenue stream and a return on surroundings (ROE) by lowering emissions. Moreover, this win-win resolution extends a wide range of different advantages to all events concerned, presenting a extra economically viable and environmentally accountable approach to mitigate methane emissions, particularly for smaller or remoted landfills.


The Heap of Bother Dealing with Our Landfills

Yearly, over 2.0 billion metric tons of waste find yourself in landfills worldwide. 1 A portion of this waste is natural matter, and because it breaks down, it releases methane – a potent GHG fuel with a worldwide warming potential 80 occasions larger than carbon dioxide over a 20-year interval. 2 Landfills are presently chargeable for 11% of all international methane emissions. 3 Nonetheless, current satellite tv for pc knowledge research on cities like Delhi, Mumbai, and Buenos Aires, recommend that methane emissions from landfills is likely to be 1.4 to 2.6 occasions larger than earlier estimates. 4 Furthermore, in response to projections by the World Financial institution, international waste might enhance 70% to three.4 billion metric tons by 2050. 5 This mounting pile of waste presents a important environmental concern that have to be addressed.

In keeping with the International Methane Evaluation, “Reaching methane emissions reductions within the subsequent decade will hold the planet considerably cooler than makes an attempt to chop carbon dioxide emissions alone.” 6

The state of affairs is especially regarding in america, the place municipal stable waste (MSW) landfills contribute to about 14% of human-related methane emissions. 7 In 2021, US MSW landfills launched 3.7 million metric tons of methane, which is equal to 66 million gas-powered passenger automobiles or 79 coal-fired energy vegetation, into the ambiance. 8

Determine 1: 2021 US Methane Emissions, By Supply 9

In an try to scale back methane emissions, the White Home took decisive motion in 2021. 10 The administration printed revised requirements for landfills with out methane mitigation implementation plans and mandated that present massive MSW landfills within the US considerably scale back their methane emissions. Whereas bigger landfills are the principal focus of this coverage, the heightened curiosity of regulators might have implications that reverberate throughout the whole landfill sector. As such, it has turn into crucial for all landfills, no matter their dimension, to undertake efficient methods to lower their methane emissions.

Venting Frustrations and Burning Points: The Outdated Strategies of Landfill Methane Administration

Traditionally, landfills have relied totally on two strategies for methane administration: venting and flaring. Nonetheless, these strategies are inefficient, wasteful, and infrequently environmentally dangerous.

Venting, a course of wherein methane is instantly launched into the ambiance, is utilized by over 50% of US landfills resulting from an absence of fuel assortment programs. 11 The most important draw back of venting is its important environmental influence since methane is stronger than carbon dioxide. Moreover, as a result of it fails to benefit from the potential power worth of methane, it’s a wasteful follow.

Then again, flaring, which is the combustion of methane, is taken into account a extra environmentally pleasant method than venting. Flaring reduces the worldwide warming potential of methane by changing it into carbon dioxide (one other GHG) and water. Nonetheless, it is just about 92% environment friendly. 12 8% of the methane continues to be launched into the ambiance. Flaring additionally brings its personal set of environmental points to native communities, together with air air pollution, noise, and lightweight disturbances. Furthermore, much like venting, flaring is wasteful because it fails to harness the power potential of methane. In actual fact, due to its hostile impacts, the World Financial institution is advocating for a whole ban on routine flaring by 2030. 13 Whereas the proposed ban would solely apply to the oil and fuel sector, it’s conceivable that future laws may embrace different massive methane emitters.

A extra productive different has emerged within the type of waste-to-energy conversion. However this different will not be a viable possibility for all landfills.

The Constraints of Waste-to-Power Conversion

Waste-to-energy conversion applied sciences have proven potential for mitigating methane emissions, notably for bigger landfills positioned close to city hubs. These websites can convert captured methane into two types of sustainable power: 1) electrical energy, which will be offered to the grid, and a couple of) renewable pure fuel (RNG), which will be distributed by means of pipelines. Regardless of the excessive upfront prices of putting in these mitigation programs, the potential return on funding could make them worthwhile if financed with a low value of capital.

Nonetheless, this feature has limitations. Promoting electrical energy to the grid, though less expensive upfront relative to producing RNG, contends with slim revenue margins and prolonged interconnect queues. On this context, “interconnect queues” refers back to the ready listing for getting access to the transmission traces wanted to move electrical energy from the supply to the grid. Conversely, refining landfill fuel into RNG is probably extra worthwhile, but it surely calls for appreciable capital and includes constructing new pipelines.

Furthermore, not all massive landfills are positioned close to cities, and for smaller or distant landfills, the economics of waste-to-energy conversion are sometimes untenable. The mix of decrease waste volumes and logistical limitations might inhibit their potential to generate a worthwhile return from power gross sales.

On account of these challenges, the variety of landfills changing landfill fuel to power has been declining since 2016.

Determine: 2 LFG to Electrical energy Trending Down Since 20161 14

This disparity between massive and small (or distant) landfills underscores an pressing want for cost-effective, scalable options. Ideally, these options can be each environmentally pleasant and economically viable; they’d cater to the various wants of various landfill sizes and places.

Determine 3: Massive vs. Small to Medium Landfills 15

From Trash to Digital Treasure: Bitcoin Mining’s Distinctive Resolution

That is the place Bitcoin mining can step in and supply a sensible resolution at this time for landfills struggling to rationalize the economics of waste-to-energy conversion. Bitcoin mining will help even the smallest landfills remodel their waste right into a worthwhile useful resource. This resolution, in flip, helps landfill homeowners in implementing methods to scale back methane emissions and adjust to laws.

How would this work? The method begins by capturing methane from landfill waste and using it to energy mills or microturbines, which in flip provide electrical energy to Bitcoin mining rigs. This course of converts what was beforehand a GHG right into a supply of renewable power and a income supply for the landfill.

Determine 4: Landfill With an On-Web site Bitcoin Mining Knowledge Middle

  1. Landfill: The method begins within the landfill, the place natural waste decomposes and produces methane.
  2. Backup Flare: The flare can burn off extra methane if there may be greater than what is required for energy technology. Nonetheless, sizing the info middle optimally may reduce the reliance on a backup system.
  3. Fuel Compression and Conditioning Skid: The captured methane is then despatched to a fuel compression and conditioning skid. This part is chargeable for refining the methane, eradicating impurities, and pressurizing it to the required degree.
  4. Modular Fuel Microturbine: The compressed and conditioned methane fuel is fed right into a modular fuel microturbine, which makes use of the fuel to generate electrical energy.
  5. Containerized Bitcoin Mining Knowledge Middle: The electrical energy generated by the microturbine is used to energy a containerized Bitcoin mining knowledge middle. The info middle homes specialised computer systems (ASICs) designed to safe and course of transactions for the Bitcoin community. Because of this, a as soon as dangerous GHG is transformed right into a worthwhile digital commodity.

However why Bitcoin mining? It affords a number of distinctive benefits that no different resolution within the market can present at this time, specifically:

  • Monetization with Lean Infrastructure: Bitcoin mining can monetize methane instantly on-site with out requiring costly investments in grid transmission or pipeline connections. This direct method means fast deployment and income technology. With a further revenue stream, landfills can put money into different LFG-to-energy tasks whereas retaining the Bitcoin miner as an offtake for extra power not offered.
  • Restricted Involvement from Landfill Proprietor: By partnering with a big, respected miner, a landfill proprietor can reap a number of advantages with very low extra effort. The miners do the work.
  • GHG Emission Discount: Bitcoin mining affords a market-based method, with out regulatory intervention, to scale back methane emissions by changing in any other case wasted potential power from landfills into financial worth.
  • Geographical Flexibility: Bitcoin miners can function wherever on the planet; they solely want an web connection. This location agnosticism opens up alternatives for even probably the most remoted landfills, remodeling beforehand missed websites into worthwhile sources of power.
  • Modular Capability: Bitcoin knowledge facilities provide a excessive diploma of customization and scalability, accommodating power a great deal of various magnitudes. This flexibility aligns nicely with landfills of various sizes and waste capacities. Practically any landfill, no matter its dimension, can host Bitcoin mining operations to benefit from their methane emissions.
  • Portability: Bitcoin knowledge facilities will be constructed in purpose-built containers. This configuration affords distinctive mobility. Mining operations will be relocated to new websites on an as-needed foundation.
  • Interruptible Operations: Bitcoin miners have the distinctive benefit of having the ability to energy down and quickly reboot inside a short 10-minute window. This functionality is good for landfills the place fuel manufacturing may fluctuate resulting from variables like waste quantity and composition.

These benefits make Bitcoin mining a mutually useful, win-win resolution for each events.

Economically, landfills can set up a further revenue stream with minimal funding in infrastructure, whereas Bitcoin miners achieve entry to a low-cost supply of renewable power.

Environmentally, the answer converts a dangerous GHG fuel into power. It reduces landfill emissions and concurrently helps Bitcoin miners scale back their reliance on grid power. By rising their sustainable power combine and lowering GHG emissions, Bitcoin miners may, in idea, make their operations CO2 impartial and even unfavourable. 16

Operationally, landfills can shortly implement an efficient technique of mitigating their methane emissions, whereas Bitcoin miners can diversify their power sources and web site places.

Determine 5: Landfills + Bitcoin Mining: A Win-Win Collaboration

Determine 6: Options Accessible to Landfills: Comparative Evaluation

Briefly, by providing an efficient resolution to the urgent concern of landfill methane emissions, Bitcoin mining can remodel what was as soon as a difficult waste product right into a worthwhile useful resource.

About Marathon Digital Holdings

Marathon is a digital asset know-how firm that focuses on supporting and securing the Bitcoin ecosystem. The Firm is presently within the means of turning into one of many largest and most sustainably powered Bitcoin mining operations in North America.

1 “What a Waste 2.0: A International Snapshot of Strong Waste Administration to 2050.” The World Financial institution. Accessed August 7, 2023. https://datatopics. content=Thepercent20worldpercent20generatespercent202.01percent20billion,frompercent200.11percent20 topercent204.54percent20kilograms.

2 “Methane: A Essential Alternative within the Local weather Battle.” Environmental Protection Fund. Accessed August 7, 2023. weather/ methane-crucial-opportunity-climate-fight. 

3 Dickie, Gloria. “Landfills across the World Launch a Lot of Methane – Research.” Reuters, August 11, 2022. content=Landfillpercent20wastepercent20 %E2percent80percent93percent20responsiblepercent20forpercent20about,accordingpercent20topercent20thepercent20Worldpercent20Bank.

4 Arasu, Sibi. “Satellite tv for pc Knowledge Finds Landfills Are Methane ‘Tremendous Emitters.’”, August 13, 2022.

5 “What a Waste 2.0: A International Snapshot of Strong Waste Administration to 2050.” The World Financial institution. Accessed August 7, 2023. content=Thepercent20worldpercent20generatespercent202.01percent20billion,frompercent200.11percent20 topercent204.54percent20kilograms.

6 “International Methane Evaluation: Advantages and Prices of Mitigating Methane Emissions.” UN Setting Program, Might 6, 2021.

7 “Trashing The Local weather: Methane from Municipal Landfills.” Environmental Integrity, Might 18, 2023.

8 Ibid.

9 “Fundamental Details about Landfill Fuel.” Environmental Safety Company, August 3, 2023.

10 “U.S. Methane Emissions Discount Motion Plan.” The White Home, November 2021.

11 “LMOP Landfill and Mission Database.” Environmental Safety Company, August 3, 2023.

12 “Fuel Flaring.” IEA. Accessed August 7, 2023.

13 “Zero Routine Flaring by 2030 (ZRF) Initiative.” The World Financial institution. Accessed August 7, 2023.

14 “LMOP Landfill and Mission Database.” Environmental Safety Company, August 3, 2023.

15 Ibid.


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