How Aries Clean Technology is improving sustainability in America
Aries Clean Energy is taking an aggressive stance in its work in the clean tech sector, pouring effort into R&D to add more options to its already commercialised energy production technologies.
The company has obtained eight patents in the biomass and biosolids gasification field (including products and systems that combat feedstock diversification, cleaner synethetic fuel gas, and emission reductions), and is evolving both its product line and focus to solve clean energy and sustainable waste disposal problems. One of the most recent patented developments is a solution for reducing the heavy tar content of biomass fuel, which involves filtering synthetic fuel gas through high-carbon biochar and removing impurities using microwave-induced plasma fields. The process is being field-tested at one of Aries’s R&D biomass facilities and is successfully producing cleaner synthetic fuel gas, plus lower capital and operational costs.
Aries Clean Energy, formerly PHG Energy, build and commissioned the world’s largest downdraft gasification facility in Lebanon, Tennessee in 2016. The system has a throughput capacity of 64 tons per day, which is five times more than previous installations. It will divert over 8,000 tons of material from landfills each year, and produce 36,000 MW-hrs of electricity over 20 years.
With these projects and many others, the company is addressing some of the industry’s biggest challenges, and according to CEO Greg Bafalis, it is poised to support the United States in improving the environment.
“Our downdraft and fluidized bed gasification projects have proven themselves viable with over 500,000 hours of commercial production. With more Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies committing to sustainability goals, we stand ready to help position corporate America for the global shift to renewable energy.
“Putting these clean and sustainable energy innovations to work in more locations, and bringing some of our latest research and development efforts to the marketplace this year, are going to be exciting for our company and for the industry.”
Read the March 2017 edition of Energy Digital magazine
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.