City unveils gasification initiative

Xavier Smith • Updated Oct 14, 2016 at 12:00 PM

Hundreds of citizens, stakeholders and city and county leaders from across the state got their first look at the Lebanon’s operational gasification initiative Thursday with a tour of the operation. 


Lebanon’s gasification initiative will divert more than 16,000,000 pounds of waste from landfills every year, cleanly produce electricity to help power the city’s waste water treatment plant and produce an end product that can be sold for profit. 

“PHG Energy has been super in working with the city and helping us work through this. They are delivering, today, an excellent product for us. We’re generating electricity back into our sewer plant today,” Lebanon Mayor Philip Craighead said during the kickoff event.

The initiative features PHG’s downdraft gasification facility and Lebanon’s downdraft gasification operation is the largest in the world. The power generated will provide the plant’s internal power needs and contribute electricity to the wastewater treatment plant where it will be located.

The city will convert used tires and wood to biochar. About 32 tons will be reduced to about 1.6 tons daily, marking a 95 percent reduction and 100 percent of the project will never go to landfills.

The plant will also eliminate 2,500 tons of carbon emissions annually, along with generate 1.8 million kilowatt-hours of energy every 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,” said Craighead, who said the initiative would have great benefits for the city in the future.

The Lebanon project will mark the 14th gasifier installation for PHG. The company’s first municipal installation was commissioned in Covington in 2013.

“Over the last several years, I’ve been involved in a handful of other projects that PHG has managed. When we received the application for the Lebanon project, we were immediately impressed with the robust energy conservation opportunities and stakeholder engagement,” Tom Doherty with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation said.

“We went through a lot of people and ended with PHG and they delivered,” Craighead said.

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