Case Study: Replacing Natural Gas For Industry


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Renewable Energy Systems Offset Fossil Fuels with Sustainable Fuel Supply

PHG Energy’s patented downdraft gasification systems were first deployed for for Boral Brick Manufacturing at facilities in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee. The technology was used to offset natural gas costs, which were then consistently topping $10 per decatherm. Twelve of the 8-ton/day gasifiers were installed between 2007 and 2009 and successfully fired large-scale brick kiln operations. When the national building industry was battered by recession, all three brick manufacturing installations were closed and remain so. PHG Energy was formed in 2010 to build on the foundation of the successful gasification technology, acquired the intellectual property of Associated Physics of America and folded their staff and operations into the new company.

Project Benefits:

  • Utilized waste wood that would have otherwise been sent to a landfill as feedstock, providing clean renewable energy for the facility. A non-burning thermo-chemical gasification process provided clean energy.
  • Reduced reliance on fossil fuel supplies to keep plants operational.
  • 48 ton/day total feedstock throughput of the six gasifiers installed could provide up to 24 decatherms of fuel energy per hour when operated at full capacity.
  • Fully automated feedstock handling system kept system running consistently with dependable outputs.
  • Reduced fuel cost from over $10 per decatherm to less than $3 utilizing Producer Gas to replace natural gas.

The System Details:

  • (6) 8-ton/day capacity downdraft gasifiers deployed as core technology.
  • Producer gas (snyngas) direct fired to heat brick kilns.
  • Locally sourced waste wood diverted from landfills.
  • Computer-controlled pneumatic and mechanical systems assured consistent feedstock delivery to gasifiers.
  • Footprint of gasification was plant less than one acre.
  • PHG Energy utilized the plant’s gasifiers in an R&D project to fuel a full MW Caterpillar electrical generator after processing syngas through a proprietary cleaning system, and sold energy back to the grid through TVA.

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