Ze-gen plans to build a $15-million gasification facility at the Attleboro Corporate Campus that will supply energy to the businesses in that industrial park, after three years of testing its waste-to-energy technology in New Bedford, Mass., reports The New England Business Bulletin.
Ze-gen says the “Attleboro Clean Energy Project” could divert 44,000 tons of waste (an average of 150 tons per day) from landfills every year, while creating less pollution and lower emissions than energy production from fossil fuels, according to the article.
Bill Davis, president and CEO of Ze-gen, told The New England Business Bulletin that he hopes to continue to test in its leased New Bedford facility for the next year, and is currently in discussions with the Department of Environmental Protection about renewing its annual Research and Development (R & D) permits to allow it to operate in the city for another year, while construction is under way in Attleboro.
The New Bedford plant has been testing the conversion of waste materials into synthesis gas, or “syngas,” which is fed into a boiler to make steam and electricity. The gasification process uses six materials — wood pallets, railroad crossties, utility poles, non-recyclable source-separated plastics, carpet fibers, and recycled coolant glycol (anti-freeze) residuals — that would have ended up in landfills or incinerators.
The company is in the permitting stage, seeking both state and local permits, reports The New England News Bulletin. Davis said in the article that the company hopes to start preparing for the new facility at the end of the year and be in full operation a year later.
The project is financed by the company’s investors but Davis hopes to qualify for federal incentives. Davis said in the article that the facility will generate a positive return on investment and be commercially viable. The company plans to build similar facilities around the globe that runs on additional waste streams.
Other companies are also looking into gasification technologies to turn waste into energy. As an example, in March, S4 Energy Solutions, a joint venture formed by Waste Management and InEnTec, announced it would build a plasma gasification facility at Waste Management’s Columbia Ridge Landfill in Arlington, Ore., that will convert municipal solid waste into clean fuels and renewable energy.