After turning his family-owned tree and lawn care business into Taylor Biomass Energy, LLC in Montgomery, one of the leading companies in the processing of solid domestic waste, James Taylor Jr. seeks a new challenge. He wants to open a plant for the processing of municipal solid waste in Russia.
“I don’t pay attention to the politics,” he said. “I think we have a solution for many different countries.”
Back in July, a waste contingent from Russia approached him, asking Taylor to come to the country. On Nov. 29 he gave presentations to waste management officials about the Taylor Biomass gasification process. While in Russia, a story about him appeared in Moskovskij Komsomolets, a Moscow-based daily newspaper.
Taylor’s gasification process offers an environmentally clean method to separate biomass and recyclables from waste such as construction and demolition debris and municipal solid waste and efficiently produce renewable, sustainable alternative electricity from biomass.
The process employs sand to rapidly heat incoming biomass, converting it to syngas and conveying char from the gasification reactor into an associated combustor. In the gasification reactor, biomass from the sorting and separating system is surrounded by sand and steam. No air or oxygen is added so there are no combustion reactions taking place, providing minimal emissions and environmental impact. The biomass is rapidly converted into medium calorific value synthesis gas at a temperature of approximately 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit.
Unconverted char and cooled sand pass through the gasification reactor and then are separated from the synthesis gas. The synthesis gas continues on to the gas conditioning reactor, while the sand is conveyed into the associated combustion reactor. In the gas conditioning reactor, steam in the product gas reacts with tars to produce carbon monoxide, hydrogen and low molecular weight hydrocarbons such as methane and benzene, all used for power generation or the production of chemical products. In addition, some carbon monoxide is converted into hydrogen by reaction with steam.
In the combustion reactor, hot air is introduced which consumes the char and reheats the sand to approximately 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit. In the combustion reactor all remaining carbon is consumed, resulting in a carbon-free ash. The reheated sand is separated from the flue gas and returned to the gasifier. Ash is removed from the exhaust, resulting in a high temperature clean flue gas stream, available for heat recovery. The process operates at essentially atmospheric pressure, simplifying the feeding and handling of the incoming biomass.
There are many advantages of this system. Greenhouse gas emissions are eliminated through the removal of degradable material from landfills that produce toxic methane gas. The process produces less than one percent of greenhouse gas emissions of conventional fossil fuel power plants. In addition, the system produces over 100 times lower greenhouse gas emissions when compared to landfilling residual waste materials. The system produces clean, sustainable energy on a 24/7 basis. It is capable of producing virtually any energy product desired, including biopower, biofuels, biochemicals or hydrogen.
Taylor is scheduled to speak again on his gasification process in Moscow on March 15. He claims that they are a ways away from building the plant. They are not even sure where it would be located in the country. If the project is accepted, the Russian plant would include a municipal solid waste processing building, gasifier, power island and interconnection to the grid. He is hopeful that his system can help Russia with their waste problem.
“This technology is the future of disposing biomass waste,” he said.
Taylor is attempting to make a change in Montgomery as well as Russia. In a statement released on Jan. 2, Taylor Biomass Energy (TBE) said that New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) approved the waste recycling and energy project in Montgomery for a Tier 1 Renewable Energy Standard Provisional Certification. TBE said in a news release that the NYSERDA found that the facility provisionally met the eligibility requirements for its gasification of adulterated biomass waste streams.
The target date for the commercial operation of the Montgomery plant is April 15, 2021. Once the plant opens, the facility will produce recyclables and alternative, renewable, wholesale electricity eligible for clean renewable energy credits. TBE noted that greenhouse gas emissions from its plant will be well below federal EPA and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation limits.