Nashville, Tenn., July 19, 2012 — PHG Energy, a Tennessee-based alternative energy company, announced an agreement with the city of Covington, Tenn., to convert waste to energy using PHG's downdraft biomass gasification equipment and technology. The system converts a wide range of waste materials or renewable biomass to a low-emission substitute for natural gas or other fossil fuels.
Covington Mayor David Gordon found opportunity with the PHG system to reduce the landfill and transportation fees for 360 total tons of previously landfill-bound waste material the West Tennessee city of about 9,000 residents produces each month. PHG integrates established commercial technologies into one innovative system that simultaneously eliminates waste and produces heat that will be used for feedstock drying and the production of electricity.
Covington won a $250,000 Clean Tennessee Energy Grant from Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau for the waste-to-energy system. Total cost of the project is $2.25 million, with $2 million of funding obtained through the Tennessee Municipal Bond fund in the form of a general obligation bond issue.
PHG's biomass gasification waste-to-energy system will be built adjacent to the wastewater treatment plant on city owned property. The waste to be used, about 12 tons per day, is primarily composed of woody biomass from the city's collections. The use of biosolids from the treatment plant is also being investigated as a possible fuel for the gasifiers.
PHG's technology combines a downdraft gasification system with thermal oxidation equipment and a 125 kW Organic Rankine Cycle power generator, manufactured by GE, to produce electric power. ORC generators offer low operating and maintenance costs while running without the need for constant attendance by an operator. Combustion of producer gas within the thermal oxidizer provides heat to power the system while maintaining emission levels comparable to the use of natural gas.
Using the clean energy system designed for Covington will prevent release of 425 tons of carbon into the atmosphere each year by reducing energy usage related to waste water treatment, as well as fossil fuels used in waste disposal transportation. According to information provided by the Environmental Protection Agency, that reduction is equivalent to greenhouse gas emissions expected annually from 75 automobiles, or the carbon dioxide emissions created through energy use in more than 33 homes.
Construction of the system is slated to begin in November of this year and will take several months to complete.