BOSTON – The Mass. Department of Environmental Protection’s Solid Waste and Air Departments have issued conditional permits to Ze-gen for the construction of a waste-gasification demonstration facility, in New Bedford, that will operate for up to one year.
Ze-gen first began to seeking DEP permission for the plant last March.
Construction is to commence immediately, Ze-gen said, and the facility is expected to be operational and generating test data by late spring.
In the plant’s one-year operating time, Ze-gen intends both to prove its zero-emissions waste gasification technology and to optimize its operating conditions. The demonstration facility is designed to process up to 500 tons of construction and demolition waste per month, using it to produce synthetic natural gas.
Ze-gen was formed in mid-2004 in order to develop and deploy efficient gasification systems that convert municipal solid waste and construction and demolition waste into clean energy.
The reasons to do so are compelling, the company notes:
• In the United States alone, more than 350 million tons of municipal solid waste and construction and demolition waste are genearted each year, with 300 million tons of that ending up in landfills.
• Once there, this waste produces about 580 million tons of carbon-dioxide-equivalent greenhouse gases, of which half is methane, a substance 22 times more harmful to the environment than carbon dioxide itself.
• Landfills are the largest man-made source of methane gas emissions, and account for more than 8 percent of total greenhouse gases.
Ze-gen says its waste gasification model represents a non-incineration opportunity to create clean power and a virtually limitless supply of free fuel.