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City to unveil gasification plant

Xavier Smith • Updated Oct 12, 2016 at 12:00 PM

Lebanon city officials will welcome hundreds of guests Thursday as it plans to unveil the new gasification facility located on Hartmann Drive.

The downdraft gasification plant that will cleanly convert up to 64 tons per day of blended waste wood, scrap tires and sewer sludge into a fuel gas that will generate up to 300 kilowatts of electricity.

“We’re going to have a few hundred people coming in from all over Tennessee and other states to see this. It’s the largest commercial downdraft gasification facility in the world,” Craighead said.

The power generated will provide the plant’s internal power needs and contribute electricity to the wastewater treatment plant where it will be located.

“That’s generating electricity to offset our electrical costs at the wastewater plant,” he said.

The city will collect used tires and wood from area businesses.

“This is the first step of a long-range goal and our next steps will come once we get this going,” said Craighead, who said the operation would have a positive cash flow for the city from the start of the operation.

The plant is projected to keep more 8,000 tons of material out of landfills each year – the equivalent of a line of trucks more than four miles long. Carbon dioxide emissions will be reduced as well, keeping more than 2,500 tons out of the atmosphere each year.

“They expect [the Murfreesboro landfill] to close in the next 7 or 8 years. Once that closes, we’re going to have to take our garbage to further landfills, which will cost more and tipping fees will go up. What we’re hoping to do is establish a recycling service within our community and then be able to take the garbage and pelletize it and use as feedstock into the gasification,” Craighead said.

The Lebanon project will mark the 14th gasifier installation for PHGE. The company’s first municipal installation was commissioned in Covington in 2013. Prior deployments of the thermo chemical process were for industrial brick manufacturing clients to replace natural gas usage by cleanly converting wood waste to what is called producer gas or synthetic gas.

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