Clean Energy 4 Africa

By: Sadah A. T. Muawad , Department of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering, Sudan University of Science and Technology, Khartoum, Sudan


  • MSW: Municipal Solid waste management
  • CH4: Methane
  • CO2: Carbon dioxide
  • m3/year: Cubic meter per year
  • LFG: Landfill gas
  • GDP: Gross domestic product
  • k: Methane generation rate
  • Lo: Methane generation potential
  • m3/Mg: Cubic meter per mega gram 
  • CAA: The Clean Air Act
  • IPCC: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change


Municipal Solid waste management (MSW) has witnessed much progress in the last years with a great effort aiming to reduce associated impacts. Such efforts remain relatively limited in developing economies due to inefficient management practices. Many factors are affecting on MSW massive amounts increasing, such as population growth, economic development, limited land resources around urban areas, and inefficient waste management systems raising serious challenges and environmental concerns[1]. In many developing countries, open dumps landfilling remains the preferred method to handle the generated waste. 

Landfill Technology

Landfill have several classifications, one of them is engineered landfill which, has the capability to treat waste and produce Landfill gas (LFG). LFG produced from organic waste decomposition, a biological and chemical processes occurring after waste landfilling. The primary components of LFG are methane (CH4) (50–60%) and carbon dioxide (CO2) (40–50%). LFG is produced by microbial activity on biodegradable waste under anaerobic conditions. CH4 is one of the most important greenhouse gases and has a global warming potential 21 times more than CO2[2].

Study Area

The Republic of The Sudan (Fig. 1) area is approximately 1,886,000 km2.  According to the Sudan Central Bureau of Statistics, the population of Sudan was 41.80 million people in 2018. The estimated GDP in 2018 was 40.85 billion, also the economic growth in 2018 was -2.3% and the inflation ratio was 23.9% [3].  Khartoum State (Fig. 2) is the capital of the Republic and is located in the central region of Sudan, 15°33’6.37″N, 32°31’56.68″E[4]. The current population of Khartoum in 2020 is 5,829,000, a 2.66% increase from 2019 [5]. Due to the rapidly increasing population and urbanization, waste generation increased and is currently approximately 5,100 tons of waste is generated daily in Khartoum [6].

Recently, one of the major and serious global concerns is the limitation of conventional energy resources. Sudan specifically has a critical crisis relating to fossil fuel resources, (after losing most of its oil reserves to South Sudan after separation in 2011).

Figure 1. Map of Africa showing The Republic of Sudan [7]. Source: World Atlas 
Figure 2. Map of Sudan showing Khartoum state [7]. Source: World Atlas

Investigation Tool

In this article, LFG emissions from the Tayba Al Hasanab landfill located at Jabel Awlia locality will be investigated; This landfill starts accepting waste in 2007 with 10 years lifetime. The landfill is operated by Khartoum Municipality, and the Higher Council of Environment Urban and Rural Promotion in Khartoum state. The landfill’s total area is 0.16 km2 and various waste is buried there such as domestic solid waste which represents the bulk and slaughtering waste and medical waste in small quantities. The landfill’s maximum annual capacity is approximately 770,000 tons [8].

Several models are readily available to predict CH4 emissions from landfills. Some of the most widely used models include the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) default and Landfill Gas Emission Model (LandGEM) version 3.02 method which was provided by the United States Environmental Protection Agency[9]. LandGEM was used to calculate future prediction emission rates for CH4 from landfill cells. For the estimation of CH4 generation from landfill cells, The Clean Air Act (CAA) defaults were used, and the forecasting period was set for 20 years. It was assumed that 2017 is the landfill closing year, and the acceptance for each year from 2007 to 2017 is 770,000 tons/year, thus the model was set to calculate the amount of CHfrom the opening year and, until ten years after landfill closure.


Figure. 3 Shows the CH4 generation from 2007 to 2027.

In the prediction model, the CH4 generation constant (k) is specified as 0.02 year -1 and the CH4generation potential (Lo) is specified as 170 M3/Mg. The CH4 content in the LFG was specified as 50%.  The CH4 generation rate (k), determines the rate of methane generation for the mass of waste in the landfill site, The potential methane generation capacity (Lo), depends only on the type and composition of waste placed in the landfill [10]. The estimation of CH4 generation, emitted from the landfill cells is shown in Fig. 3. In 2017, 2020 and 2027 the total CH4 was estimated as 21592619 m3/year, 20335162 m3/year and 17678541 m3/year respectively; The model stated 2017 as peak year of LFG generation its noticeable that the gas value decrease after the peak year due to many causes such as the landfill maturation, such amount of greenhouse gas need to be controlled because of possible of explosion and migration.

In the next article, the power generation potential from CHcontent in LFG will be discussed.


  1. Maalouf, A. and M. El-Fadel, Life cycle assessment for solid waste management in Lebanon: Economic implications of carbon credit. Waste Management & Research, 2019. 37(1_suppl): p. 14-26.
  2. Fallahizadeh, S., et al., Estimation of methane gas by LandGEM model from Yasuj municipal solid waste landfill, Iran.MethodsX, 2019. 6: p. 391-398.
  3. The World Bank. Sudan Country Profile.  [cited 2020 28th, FEB.]; Available from:
  4. Khartoum, Sudan latitude longitude. 2015  [cited 2020 Feb, 24 ]; Available from:
  5. United Nations – World Population Prospects. Khartoum, Sudan Population 1950-2020.  [cited 2020 28th, FEB]; Available from:
  6. Salma Mohamed Eljack Elsarraf, G., G. A. and Ibrahim, H. M. E,, Management of solid waste in Khartoum state.International Journal of Current Research, 2017. 9(11, ): p. 60336-60341.
  7. Worldatlas. Sudan Map/ Geography of Sudan/ Map of Sudan. 2018  [cited 2020 Feb, 24 ]; Available from:
  8. Yadi, S.A.A.M., Assessment the Efficiency of Solid Waste Management Tayba Al Hasanab Landfill, Khartoum Municipality Sudan.
  9. Ghosh, P., et al., Assessment of methane emissions and energy recovery potential from the municipal solid waste landfills of Delhi, India. Bioresource technology, 2019. 272: p. 611-615.
  10. Amy Alexander, C.B., and Amanda Singleton,, Landfill Gas Emissions Model (LandGEM) Version 3.02 User’s Guide, Office of Research and Development, Editor. 2005, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): Washington, DC 20460.


Mohamed Alhaj

Dr. Mohamed Alhaj is a Sudanese renewable energy engineer and researcher with a strong interest in the role of clean energy in Africa's sustainable development.

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