2020 – Year in Review and Preview of 2021


Aries Clean Energy

Publication Date

December 9, 2020

Much of 2020 has seen our staff shift focus to support the construction of the Aries Linden Biosolids Gasification Facility in Linden, NJ. The first quarter was filled with ordering equipment and supervising fabrication of the Aries supplied Gasification Island.

In February, the 13th annual International Biomass Conference & Expo drew nearly 900 attendees to Nashville, TN. One of the highlights of the week was a tour of the Aries Clean Energy Downdraft gasification facility in Lebanon, TN, where Aries GREEN® Biochar is produced. Aries GREEN® retains its UDSA certification, and it was re-certified by the International Biochar Initiative for the second year.

Due to safety precautions and a well-informed management team, the COVID-19 outbreak did not affect the construction at Linden as winter and spring work continued as scheduled.

April marked a milestone as Aries turned 10 years old. Aries Clean Energy started April 13, 2010, as PHG Energy, funded by the owners of a multi-state Caterpillar dealership, Thompson Machinery in Nashville, TN. The company was to further develop a patented gasification technology already in full commercialization and proven as a viable method of cleanly converting wood waste to synthetic fuel gas for industrial use.

“We’ve come so far in our first decade, and it’s because of the vision of its founders and the expertise of this staff,” said Greg Bafalis, CEO of Aries Clean Energy. “Since I’ve been on board, Aries has made history developing and/or commissioning some of the world’s largest commercial downdraft and fluidized bed gasification plants. Each plant makes this planet a bit healthier as we provide environmentally friendly solutions to the world’s biosolids dilemma.”

With the increasing growth and recognition of Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, collectively known as PFAS, Aries published a white paper in May that describes how the Aries Fluidized Bed Gasifiers offer an effective solution to treat and destroy PFAS in domestic wastewater biosolids due to the high temperatures generated during the conversion process. Other potential feedstocks with PFAS contamination can also be processed in either gasifier (fluid bed or downdraft).

PFAS are chemicals that achieved wide use in commercial and industrial applications due to their excellent resistance to water and grease. Many of the uses took advantage of these properties to provide non-stick coatings for cookware, water resistance to clothing, and stain repelling properties to various fabrics. They have also widely been used in firefighting foam.

The arrival and unique installation of the main part of the gasifier at Linden was captured in a video format in June. The main part weighs 23,400 tons and was lifted so it could be installed through the roof of the existing building into place. See the video here. Two larger dryers were also lifted for placement later in summer.

July marked the first anniversary of the retail sales of Aries GREEN® Biochar. The Lebanon downdraft plant also marked its first 50 tons produced and sold wholesale as a manufacturing additive. Another milestone for biochar was celebrated in October when the company received confirmation that Aries GREEN® Biochar has been purchased and shipped to all 50 states and to the District of Columbia.

Taking necessary precautions, Linden Mayor Derek Armstead was able to visit the Aries Linden site and see the progress made first-hand over the summer. The mayor, a strong supporter of the gasification plant, said “I welcome the technology that exists today that we can take biosolids and convert them into a clean and renewable energy source. I welcome the new relationship between private companies like Aries Clean Energy and the Linden Roselle Sewerage Authority.”

With the largest pieces of equipment on site, inside piping work started in September connecting the components. Staff began in the fall to concentrate on installation of instrumentation, electrical panels, and control modules. Stay tuned as we anticipate completion and commissioning next year.

What’s new for 2021?

To date, several cities have expressed interest in gasifiers similar to the one in Linden. Planning, site selection, and permitting will be the next steps to ensure that this technology is viable in each location.

If you’re thinking our technology can help your company, your city, please contact us today, and let’s start the collaboration.

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