Sevier Solid Waste in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee engaged PHG Energy to build the biomass gasification plant capable of cleanly converting more than 30 tons of composted material daily into thermal energy while producing a valuable high-carbon biochar.
The installation will help the waste management company reduce the amount of compost is needs to transport by converting it to biochar — and it will also create a new revenue stream, says Tom Leonard, director of Sevier Solid Waste (SSWI).
SSWI operates a garbage composting plant that processes more than 100,000 tons annually from the Sevierville, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. All the municipal solid waste is processed through the plant, with 60 percent of it being made into compost.
PHGE’s gasification plants employ a thermo-chemical process that cleanly converts biomass to a combustible fuel gas. Around 90 percent of the biomass that is gasified in the PHGE system becomes fuel gas, and the only remaining residue is the charcoal-like biochar, that in SSWI’s case will be sold to a local industrial user as a renewable source of fuel to displace coal consumption.
The cost of the Pigeon Forge facility is $2.25 million. The project has been awarded a $250,000 Clean Energy Tennessee Grant through the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. PHG Energy will provide the gasifier, thermal oxidizer, material handling equipment and build the facility as general contractor.
The project will showcase PHGE’s second installation of its Large Frame gasifier, which the company says it believes to be the world’s largest downdraft unit and capable of more than 60 tons per day throughput.
PHGE partnered with energy consulting firm ARiES Energy to develop the project.