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August 25, 2013

Officials watch pyrolysis in Germany

Mayor, LMU superintendent tour plants

(Continued)

“We know the smaller version works,” he said. “We’re going to buy 20 of the smaller versions instead of one big version. We’re just duplicating what we know works.”

Hartman said it wouldn’t take long for the employees at LMU’s current generating plant to become acclimated with Pyrolyzer’s technology, known as pyrolysis.

“We went through every piece and part of the process,” he said. “There’s nothing in there so complex that it would take a rocket scientist to figure out. They’re parts and pieces of technology from around the world brought together.”

For example, Hartman said there is an augur stirring the feedstock within its stainless steel tank, which is being heated from the outside, to ensure the feedstock is distributed evenly as the steam produced off it rises into another tank. That steam is then incinerated into a gas, which, at the plant being negotiated for Logansport, would then power turbines to create electricity.

Hartman said these kinds of augurs are used in industries as stirring mechanisms for things like corn, sludge and ethanol byproducts.

Both officials maintained that the emissions from the gas created in the plant does not contain harmful chemicals like dioxin, a matter of ongoing debate surrounding the project. Franklin said he is working on obtaining test results that prove those statements.

The officials’ second tour was at a materials recycling facility that provided them with an example of how the municipal solid waste that would become the plant’s fuel could be sorted, ground up and prepared for gasification.

The materials recycling facility, or MRF, owned by ALBA, is about a 30-minute drive from Berlin, Franklin said. The MRF takes refuse like municipal solid waste, insulation, plastics and tires and converts them into pellets that become feedstock for facilities like Pyrolyzer’s in Forst.

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