PRESS RELEASE: Aries Project Receives State’s Highest Environmental Stewardship Award


Aries Clean Energy

Publication Date

May 24, 2017

Aries Clean Energy gasification project received Tennessee's highest Environmental Stewardship Award for energy and renewable resources.

NASHVILLE, TN – (May 24, 2017) – Aries Clean Energy’s biomass gasification plant just outside Nashville has been recognized as the driving force behind the City of Lebanon’s receipt of a 2017 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award, the most prestigious conservation award in Tennessee.

Now in its 31st year, the awards annually showcase exceptional voluntary actions that improve or protect the environment.  Governor Bill Haslam and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) Commissioner Bill Martineau jointly announced the award in the energy and renewable resources category after a panel of 22 independent professionals representing conservation, environmental, agricultural and academic professionals judged nearly 90 entries from across the state.

Aries Clean Energy deployed its patented gasification technology in design and construction of the plant that was commissioned in late 2016.  It is the world’s largest downdraft gasification facility, and it utilizes a blend of wood waste from local industries, scrap tires from Wilson County and biosolids from the city’s wastewater treatment plant to produce green electrical power.

“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,” said Lebanon Mayor Bernie Ash.  “This is a win all the way around.”

Developing the project involved implementing a partnership between the city and county, as well as a private company, Rockwood Recycling, which specializes in logistics and preparation of commercial wood waste and scrap tires.  The gasification plant can process up to 64 tons per day of material and produce 420 kW of electricity utilizing Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) generators.

Because of the partnerships in place, the Lebanon facility annually:

  • Diverts 8,000 tons of wood waste from the landfill, enough to fill a line of tractor-trailers four miles long
  • Makes beneficial use of 36,000 scrap tires (450 tons)
  • Eliminates 2,500 tons of carbon emissions from the air, equivalent to that produced by 479 automobiles
  • Generates 1.8 million kilowatt-hours of electricity –  sufficient to power 350 average homes for the year

“This plant is a terrific model of our patented clean energy technology in action, and what public/private partnerships can achieve,” said Aries CEO Greg Bafalis. “Recognition of what we built from the state’s environmental community is clearly appreciated.  At the same time, the award says Lebanon’s leaders had tremendous vision and initiative in putting this project together and making it work.  Congratulations to Mayor Ash, and each of those council members and public works professionals involved.”

World’s largest downdraft gasifier (left) and thermal oxidizer at the Lebanon, TN, clean energy plant

About Aries Clean Energy

Aries Clean Energy, LLC, based in Nashville, Tennessee, designs and builds innovative bio-based downdraft and fluidized bed gasification systems using its eight patents granted to date. Its projects provide for the sustainable disposal of waste, reduction of carbon emissions, and the production of clean thermal and electrical energy. The company’s ongoing R&D efforts are focused on cleaning syngas produced from waste for use in internal combustion engines.

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Nancy Cooper

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