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Novo Gramacho Opens: from Trash City to Green Energy Center

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  • Aerial View

    The Big Picture

    At right of the photo, you can see Jardim Gramacho, the landfill depicted in the Waste Land movie. This large landfill is the source of the biogas that is cleaned using FirmGreen's green technology, now installed and operational at Gás Verde's biogas purification plant.

    The green line shows the route of the installed pipeline that transports cleaned gas to a nearby customer — Brazil's largest company, Petrobras.

  • Workers and Steve

    "Um Abraço!"

    Picking up where we ended in the previous gallery. . .

    Several workers take a moment to smile for the camera, with FirmGreen's Steve Wilburn at center. ("um abraço" literally means a hug; figuratively it is an expression of friendship)

  • Gás Verde Plant

    Finishing touches!

    With the biogas processing plant ready to become operational, workers are "beautifying" the landscape.

    In the background is the enormous Jardim Gramacho landfill which produces the methane being cleaned at the plant.

  • Fresh coat of paint protects the piping

    Miles of pipe to paint

    Painting isn't just cosmetic; it protects the piping from weathering and corrosion.

    The large cylindrical vessels seen in this photo house material used to remove various contaminants from the biogas.

    The resulting product is a clean natural gas known as biomethane, with the same energy content as natural gas from fossil fuel sources.

  • Duque du Caxais sunset

    The core of the plant...

    View shows the lower portion of the CO2 Wash column, and a nice sunset underway at Duque du Caxais — a municipality near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil — where the biogas facility is located.

    The next slide shows another view of the entire wash column module.

  • CO2 Wash

    ...and final cleaning stage.

    Standing at the southwest corner of the site, looking northeast, the entire wash column module is shown at the left of the photo.

    After this final stage that uses carbon dioxide (already present in the biogas) to remove remaining contaminants, the biomethane will be compressed and sent to the customer via pipeline.

  • Workers check systems

    Up in the air...

    The cleaned gas goes through the aerial piping that bisects the plant.

  • Final meters of pipeline route

    ...and to the customer

    The final meters of the pipeline route are visible as an open area in the canopy of trees.

    At left is the large industrial site, owned by Petrobras, that will use the cleaned biogas — or biomethane, to reduce its dependence on fossil fuel to operate the facility.

  • Manoel and Steve Welcome Guests

    Open House: Novo Gramacho

    June 7, 2013 was an Open House Day at the Gás Verde Biogas Processing Plant. With the plant nearly ready to commence commercial operation, it was time to welcome guests for a visit to celebrate the hard work that went into bringing the vision to reality.

    Manoel Avelino, CEO Arcadis Logos (lft); Steve Wilburn, CEO FirmGreen, Inc. (rt).

  • This is how it works.

    Explaining How it Works

    Visitors and dignitaries take a tour of the plant, as Steve Wilburn (rt., in grey suit) answers questions about FirmGreen's green technology that serves as the core of the biogas processing operation.

    Manoel Antonio Avelino (lft.) stands by to answer questions about planning, design, engineering, and construction for the facility at Novo Gramacho — currently the world's largest of its type!

  • Global Friends - FirmGreen and Gás Verde

    Check Back Soon!

    We will post more photos as the facility commences commercial operation, so check back for updates.

    Read more about this project
    View "Starting Point: Ohio" gallery
    View "Novo Gramacho: Brazil" gallery
    View "Novo Gramacho: 2012" gallery
    View "Novo Gramacho: August 2013"

    Find out more about natural gas (methane) fuel, and why FirmGreen's gCNG® — natural gas from renewable sources, is environmentally sound energy.
    Read More


In 2012, FirmGreen and other U.S. green-technology suppliers benefited from a $48.6 million loan from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) supporting exports of equipment and services for the development of the Novo Gramacho biogas project in Brazil — the world's largest biogas project of its type. FirmGreen estimates that the biogas project directly generated 165 new jobs at its facilities and at other companies in seven states: Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio, California, Michigan, Missouri and Texas.

The loan borrower, Gas Verde S.A., is the project owner and will operate the Novo Gramacho biogas plant located at the 140-hectare Jardim Gramacho landfill near Rio de Janeiro. One of the world's largest solid-waste landfills, Jardim Gramacho was the subject of "Waste Land," an internationally acclaimed documentary that was nominated for an Academy Award in 2011. The biogas purification plant converts the site's "dirty" methane gas (a by-product of trash decomposition that lingers for years and is more environmentally harmful than carbon dioxide) into clean, usable biomethane gas.

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