Aries Clean Energy – 2019 wrap up and a look ahead at 2020


Aries Clean Energy

Publication Date

January 15, 2020

As Aries Clean Energy completes its first decade, it’s time to celebrate last year’s accomplishments and take a peek at the 2020 roadmap. 2019 was a year of several milestone accomplishments for the company. Let’s take a look chronologically.

Biochar Certification

Staff was busy in the first quarter preparing our Aries GREEN® biochar to be tested in preparation for the launch of retail sales. In April, we received the news that our Aries GREEN® had successfully received USDA biochar certification. This third-party verification for a product’s biobased content is administered through the USDA BioPreferred Program, an initiative created by the 2002 Farm Bill (and most recently expanded by the 2014 Farm Bill). One of the goals of the program is to increase the development, purchase, and use of biobased products. The USDA Certified Biobased Product label displays a product’s biobased content, which is the portion of a product that comes from a renewable source, such as plant, animal, marine, or forestry feedstocks. Aries GREEN® is certified at 96% carbon. Utilizing renewable, biobased materials displaces the need for non-renewable petroleum-based chemicals.

The USDA says biobased products, through petroleum displacement, have played an increasingly important role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions that exacerbate global climate change. Biobased products are cost-comparative, readily available, and perform as well as or better than their conventional counterparts.

Also in April, we received notification that the International Biochar Initiative (IBI) had also certified Aries Green® after independent lab testing. A primary goal of the IBI Biochar Certification Program is to create consumer and marketplace confidence and quality assurances around biochar by creating a standardized, recognized system to certify biochar that meets the IBI Biochar Standards.

The biochar community recognizes IBI as a credible brand. Buyers are assured that biochar with the IBI Certified™ biochar seal meets the IBI Biochar Standards for material characteristics and passes screening tests for certain potential toxicants.

Aries GREEN® Retail and Commercial Sales Launch

We launched the retail sales for Aries GREEN® Biochar in July. With the USDA and IBI certifications complete, the product carries the USDA label and the IBI Certified™ biochar seal. Biochar is a byproduct of our patented gasification process that provides beneficial impacts to the soil as an all-natural soil conditioner. By site and feel, it appears similar to charcoal, but biochar carries many benefits. Aries GREEN® is a high carbon content biochar for use as an all-natural soil conditioner and agricultural soil amendment, fuel, a filtering agent, and base material for the production of fabric, carpet, rubber, plastic, and carbon black.

When biochar is added to plants and crops, it returns carbon to the soil. It also improves plant life by retaining water due to the carbon content of the product. Biochar varies depending on what it is made from and how it is made. Not all biochar is created equal. Certification processes like these keep the public and the planet safe. In 2019, we sold and shipped 11,090 pounds of biochar to 29 states.

Two sizes are currently being offered to the public via the company’s website: Aries GREEN® and in the Amazon Marketplace.

The one-gallon plastic jug features a shaker lid for ease of application. A 5-gallon bucket is also available for those needing a slightly larger quantity. Both containers can be recycled or repurposed. For larger quantities please contact Aries directly for quotes at

Environmental Permits Approved for Linden, NJ, plant

Aries Clean Energy received all approvals required to construct New Jersey’s first biosolids-only gasification facility in July. The plant will bring environmental and sustainable benefits to the area by processing 400 tons of biosolids daily into clean renewable energy.

The Aries Linden Biosolids Gasification Facility is under construction in a re-purposed building within the Linden Roselle Sewerage Authority (LRSA) complex, 20 miles from Manhattan (New York City). Aries will commission its patented fluidized bed gasification system that was designed specifically for processing biosolids later this year. The system will reduce the volume of biosolids from 400 tons per day to 22 tons of beneficial biochar. The biochar will be beneficially used as a substitute for fly ash in concrete. The renewable energy that is generated from the system is then recovered and used within the system, so no fossil fuels are used during normal operations. It will also reduce greenhouse gases due to the reduction in trucking miles associated with conventional disposal methods as well as the elimination of methane generated from land application of biosolids.

Aries-Holloway Bioenergy Facility

Announced in July, Aries continues the planning and designing for the Aries-Holloway Bioenergy Facility to be built in on five acres in Lost Hills, California, adjacent to the current Holloway Agriculture complex. Three downdraft gasifiers will provide a sustainable solution for the Central Valley agricultural waste. The Central Valley is California’s single most productive agricultural region and one of the most productive in the world, providing more than half of the fruits, vegetables, and nuts grown in the United States.

The plant will process 165 tons of agricultural biomass, generate 86 MW of electricity daily, send 72 MW to the grid, and it produces 5000 tons per year of biochar that will be used as a soil amendment. Construction will start in the second quarter this year with full operations projected Q3 2021.

This project qualifies under SB 1122 CAT 2 BioMAT program, and gasification is an approved method of using agricultural waste to generate electricity. This project will help meet California’s Renewable Energy goals Biochar Launch

MTA Distributors, located in Nashville, TN, is America’s largest rental equipment distributor. It supplies professional equipment, parts, and accessories for party, construction, and lawn & garden rental companies. Aries entered into a relationship with MTA Distributors in September to distribute the Aries GREEN® 5-gallon bucket of biochar on It can be picked up at your local Home Depot store or shipped directly to your door.

Taking Gasification Mainstream in the U.S. – Waste Management World

For the September-October issue of Waste Management World, Editor Ben Messenger talked with Aries Clean Energy CEO Gregory Bafalis about the company and where it is going. Bafalis discusses the changes in technology since the company’s inception, and how those solutions can affect our planet.

To quote the article: Bafalis also sees big opportunities around the corner for the company. “We’re a little different in that it’s our equipment, the gasifier – it’s our design, our patent and we have it fabricated – but we also develop our projects,” he says. “We’re actively putting projects together, but like anything you have to learn to walk before you run. Our first downdraft system has been operating for a couple of years, so we have a lot of traction, especially in California because of their landfill diversion and their high-power process – a couple of those are in permitting right now.

“With the fluidized bed, we’re not just focused on the US, we’ve had a lot of interest from Australia and internationally,” Bafalis concludes. “Once we get this system up and running, we think this is a global business for us.”

Waste Management World, the official magazine of the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), is published bi-monthly by ISWA and Industriemagazin Verlag.

Both in print and online Waste Management World covers every aspect of the industry for waste management professionals. Coverage includes the latest products and technology, as well as policy and legislation affecting the industry. The magazine features contributions from leading global experts on waste recycling and minimization, landfill, bio-waste, renewable energy conversion and thermal treatment, transport, collection, and waste policy. The article may be read here:

Biochar: If You Make It, Will They Come? – Biomass Magazine

Kathleen Draper is the U.S. Director at the Ithaka Institute for Carbon Intelligence. She is known worldwide for her work in the biochar industry. She is frequently a speaker and author on the subject. She is also the current board chair for the International Biochar Initiative.

Draper cited Aries Clean Energy in her recent article in the September issue of Biomass Magazine entitled Biochar: If You Make It, Will They Come? She discusses the growing trend of biochar use as a soil amendment for improved crops and plants. She also sees another up and coming market for biochar. Draper writes, “Much of the more recent focus for biochar has been nonagricultural markets where activated carbon (AC) has traditionally been used such as filtration, remediation, animal feed and more. Biochar can often compete effectively with AC from a cost perspective. It is now being looked at as a replacement for carbon black which is used as a filler and dye in various types of plastics and in tires.”

Biomass Magazine is a monthly trade publication tailored to serve companies and organizations engaged in producing or utilizing biomass power and heat, advanced biofuels, biogas, wood pellets, and biobased chemicals. It is currently circulated in 40 countries worldwide. In addition to policy, regulation, project finance, technology, and plant management, the publication maintains a core editorial focus on biomass logistics: generating, cultivating, collecting, transporting, processing, marketing, procuring and utilizing sustainable biomass.

The article can be read here:

Linden – “Setting new standards in the wastewater industry” 

Aries Clean Energy was joined by local officials and dignitaries to break ground Oct. 15 on New Jersey’s first biosolids-only gasification facility. The Aries Linden Biosolids Gasification Facility will bring environmental and sustainable benefits to the area by processing 430 tons of biosolids daily into clean renewable energy.

Instead of the traditional shovels, the crowd picked up sledgehammers and began the demolition at the building that will house the plant. More than 100 gathered to usher in the facility that will be located within the Linden Roselle Sewerage Authority (LRSA) complex. Sixty new construction jobs will be seen during the construction phase of this project and 16 long-term, skilled jobs will be created to operate the plant.

“This marks the beginning of a collaboration that will set new standards of clean and green efforts in the wastewater industry,” David Brown, executive director of LRSA. “I want to ensure everyone that we are confident that this collaboration between the City, Authority, and Aries will meet expectations for the long term, be more cost-effective, and a beneficial reuse solution for sludge treatment and disposal. The opening of this gasification plant here will provide additional revenue, reductions in operation and maintenance costs, and give our ratepayers an economic benefit that will allow the Authority and the City to stabilize our budgets.”

Aries Completes Linden Financial Close

Aries Clean Energy completed the $65 million financial close for the Aries Linden Biosolids Gasification Facility in New Jersey in October. The financing included $50 million of “Green” tax-exempt bonds issued through the Union County Improvement Authority. This facility will divert 130,000 tons of biosolids from local landfills annually, and it will provide the lowest cost option for biosolids disposal in the NY/NJ Metropolitan area.

“We are pleased to reach this milestone on the Linden project,” said Gregory Bafalis, CEO of Aries Clean Energy. “The Linden facility will be the most advanced biosolids processing facility in the world utilizing our patented fluidized bed technology. By using our environmentally friendly, renewable system, we will convert biosolids into completely renewable, beneficial products. I anticipate that Linden will receive visitors from all over the world to see this facility and how it innovatively takes a waste product and converts it into renewable energy and biochar. We are looking forward to investing in the local community and serving the region with sustainable biosolids solutions that will contribute to a cleaner, greener, healthier planet.”

Equity for the project comes from Aries Clean Energy and Spring Lane Capital. “This project and Aries’ gasification technology fit perfectly with Spring Lane Capital’s investment approach of partnering with entrepreneurs in the energy, water, food, and waste industries to help them deploy innovative, sustainable solutions. We are thrilled to support the Aries team on this and future projects,” said Nikhil Garg, General Partner at Spring Lane.

Construction will be led by Riggs Distler & Company, Inc., of Cherry Hill, NJ. Riggs will maintain 60 jobs during construction. Additional opportunities will also be created for the local supply chain, with a commitment to purchase local goods and services when possible. Commissioning is expected in 14 months.

“Our team is excited to be part of this project,” said Stephen M. Zemaitatis, Jr., President & CEO of Riggs Distler. “It will be particularly rewarding for our employees to see their hard work result in the construction of a world-class facility that will make our community greener and healthier.”

Looking ahead to 2020

Linden – Construction and commissioning of the Linden, New Jersey, plant will be a major focus of 2020 for the Aries staff. Work continues daily at the site. We invite you to follow it here: Aries Linden.

Biochar – The demand for certified biochar for personal and industrial use is growing worldwide. Industries are using it to create more carbon-neutral products in order to meet zero carbon sustainability goals. Individuals are using it to improve their lawns, garden, and plants. In 2020, we will continue to develop and distribute our Aries GREEN® Biochar. It can be purchased here: Aries GREEN®.

Aries Clean Energy – We will celebrate out 10th anniversary in April. We will publish a special edition of our monthly newsletter highlighting the challenges and achievements of those first years. If you are not a current subscriber to our newsletter, please sign up here.

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