ARTICLE: Mixing It Up In Tennessee


Waste Management World

Publication Date

August 1, 2017

In Lebanon, Tennessee, Clean Energy Technologies, Inc., has commissioned three of its Clean Cycle ™ Heat Recovery Systems at a new renewable energy downdraft gasification plant.

Aries Clean Energy’s new waste gasification facility processes 64 tonnes of alternative fuels per day, including scrap tyres, commercial wood waste, and biosolids from the adjacent wastewater treatment plant. Wood and tyres are first shredded to a particle size of 1 to 3 inches (25 to 76 mm). The sludge is blended with wood before gasification with a target moisture content for the blend of 30%.

The syngas produced by the gasification process is combusted in an emissions control device, and industrial thermal oxidizer. The thermal energy is used to heat water, which in turn drives three of Clean Energy Technologies’ Organic Rankine Cycle generators with a total output of 420Kw.

Clean Energy Technologies explains that its system is based upon an efficient, patented high-speed turbine that allows it to generate electricity in a closed-loop Organic Rankine Cycle Heat Recovery System utilizing relatively low temperatures. The system captures waste heat, which can be from a variety of sources, such as exhaust streams, water, or steam processes. The plant is projected to result in a 2500 tonne per year reduction in carbon emissions. Around 92% of the input materials are transformed into syngas, with the remaining 8% resulting in a biochar which is 70% carbon and recyclable for agricultural or industrial uses.


Award Winning

The facility, which Aries Clean Energy claims to be the largest of its type in the world, was recently credited as the driving force behind the City of Lebanon’s receipt of a 2017 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award. Developing the project involved a partnership between with City and County, as well as a private company, Rockwood Recycling, which specializes in logistics and preparation of commercial wood waste and scrap tyres.

“This plant is a terrific model of our patented clean energy technology in action, and what public/private partnerships can achieve,” says Aries CEO Greg Bafalis.

“Recognition of what we build from the state’s environmental community is clearly appreciated.”

The project was further recognized in June with an Environmental Leader Product & Project Award in the energy category. One judge said that the project is “using systems thinking to reduce waste, produce renewable energy, capture heat that normally would be wasted, and are also producing biochar which has great agricultural benefits.” Another judge adds: “A great example of how to increase government’s productivity while also reducing their environmental impact.”

“We’re reducing landfill use, creating clean energy and keeping thousands of tons of carbon out of the air each year, all with a positive cash flow. This is a win all the way around,” said Lebanon Mayor Bernie Ash.



  • 2010 – PHG Energy, which would later become Aries Clean Energy, started with funding from the owners of a multi-state Caterpillar dealership.
  • 2014 – The company build and tested the “world’s largest” downdraft gasifier.
  • 2015 – Work begins on the Lebanon facility.

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