Lebanon gasification plant shuts down temporarily

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Operations shut down Jan. 24 at the award-winning waste-to-energy gasification plant in Lebanon to allow the city to evaluate the plant’s cost-effectiveness.

PHG Energy, parent company of Aries Clean Energy, initially said the gasification would divert 8,000 tons of wood and bio-solid waste from the landfill, as well as convert 450 tons of tires into electricity. The plant is the only large-scale downdraft gasifier in operation in the U.S., and it was supposed to be able to convert 64 tons of waste to usable energy per day.

An Aries representative told the council in September the plant had reached its goal to generate 300-kilowatt hours of energy but wasn’t able to sustain it. The plant quit taking tires, diverted greenwood to another facility and continued to work out how to effectively burn sewer sludge and turn it into usable fuel. Drying out the sewer sludge proved to be an issue. In the end, about 32 tons of woodchip waste was converted to energy each day.

The gasification plant uses a thermo-chemical process, not incineration, to produce a combustible fuel gas. The process produces natural gas that runs the plant itself and ideally would produce a surplus. The process also produces a bio-char product.

An excerpt from LebanonDemocrat