Kimberly-Clark manufactures a wide variety of paper products including Huggies diapers, Scott paper towels, and Kleenex tissues, among others. In 2007, the Three Rivers Solid Waste Authority (TRSWA) in Jackson, SC, partnered with the Kimberly-Clark Corporation Beech Island Mill to build an approximately $800,000 reclaimed landfill gas pipeline. The pipeline was a win-win for both entities: TRSWA was seeking to install a gas collection and control system, while Kimberly-Clark wanted to enhance its globally-recognized sustainability initiatives and diversify its energy sources.
Because of this partnership, TRSWA pursued the reclaimed landfill gas pipeline in lieu of installing a gas collection-and-control system. Kimberly-Clark completed the $800,000 project and was subsequently reimbursed by TRSWA.
“It gives us another alternative fuel to use, which not only enhances our sustainability, but gives us the flexibility to use an alternative fuel if we are somehow constrained by one of our other fuel sources."
Environmental Sustainability Manager
This project began in 2006 and was completed in 2008. It enabled a beneficial reuse of a natural resource rather than wasteful flaring of usable methane gas. Landfill gas is composed of roughly 50 percent methane (the primary component of natural gas), 50 percent carbon dioxide (CO2), and a small amount of non-methane organic compounds. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, 28 to 36 times more effective than CO2 at trapping heat in the atmosphere over a 100-year period.
LANDFILL GAS TO POWER
On average, the TRSWA landfill in Jackson collects 250,000 tons of solid waste per year. This solid waste consistently produces methane gas, which is then captured and cleaned on-site. Afterward, 98 percent of the gas is piped through more than 15 miles of pipeline to Kimberly-Clark’s Beech Island Mill near North Augusta, SC. TRSWA has ownership rights for the pipeline until a custody transfer point to Kimberly-Clark; TRSWA is responsible for maintaining the pipeline system. Once the landfill gas reaches the mill, it is then burned along with natural gas to generate steam and power its production of paper products.
Kimberly-Clark modified its #1 boiler, which helps to power the facility, to burn landfill gas, ultimately displacing approximately 20 percent of its natural gas use. Between 2010 and 2015, this project saved 1.6 trillion BTUs. This total equates to an average annual displacement of 320 million BTUs by no longer flaring usable methane gas at the landfill.
View the video discussing this project
In 2016, Kimberly-Clark launched its “Sustainability 2022” program, aimed at decreasing its operational footprint throughout the value chain. The company continues to set aggressive targets to achieve its sustainability goals.
For information about funding opportunities available through the Energy Office, visitENERGY.SC.GOV/Incentives