Aura Engineering is a known leader in the vapor recovery and control industry. When most people think of vapor recovery and control, they typically think of industrial and terminal applications, but this is not always the case. Noxious vapors that need to be controlled can come from many sources outside an industrial setting. Several years ago, Aura completed a project south of Santiago, Chile to control vapors coming from a closed landfill. Aura was contacted to provide engineering, project management, design, and equipment for the landfill after the initial abatement solution failed to adequately destroy methane and other vapors escaping from the waste. The means of vapor destruction was inefficient—incomplete combustion caused the formation and release of hydrocarbons while allowing vapors to waft uncontrolled from the waste.


The origin of this project lies within the framework of the Kyoto Protocol, and international environmental treaty that commits nations to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. As a means of reducing worldwide emissions, a third-party company negotiated a trade for emissions whereby they would mitigate emissions from the Chilean landfill in return for international credits for emissions they produced at their own facility. Aura was contacted by an intermediary company and was not privy to the name or any other information about the third-party company.

This project began with a thorough review of the control technology that was emitting far too much methane and allowing hydrocarbons to form and release into the atmosphere. The landfill was no longer in use and had been capped. Several wells could be found around the site that produced methane and other combustible gases. Each well was designed to burn the combustible vapor as it was emitted to the atmosphere. As designed, the means of burning the vapors was not sufficient, and therefore both hydrocarbons and other gases were being emitted.

To solve the problem, Aura reviewed the layout of the facility and developed a piping assembly that would connect each emission point (well) to a header. Aura then designed a blower system to connect to the piping header that would pull a slight vacuum on the wells, so that emissions were gathered and sent to a new combustion system. The blower system was built and constructed by a manufacturer in Tulsa, Oklahoma and then shipped to Chile for installation. Aura collaborated with MRW Technologies to develop a high efficiency enclosed combustor to oxidize the vapors collected form the wells. As part of the project, Aura worked directly with a local fabrication facility in Santiago to utilize the construction drawings and burners provided by MRW for local fabrication of the combustion system stack.

The overall design also included a Continuous Emission Monitoring (CEM) system to control the emissions from the combustion stack while providing a basis for reporting emissions from the stack on a monthly basis.

No matter what your vapor control or recovery challenge is, the engineers at Aura have a solution for you. Contact us today so our engineers can get to work solving your vapor issue.