A Knoxville company submitted a permit application for an alternative waste processing facility for Sevier County.
Misty Mountain Resource Recovery CEO John Bardsfield describes the process, known as plasma gasification, as an environmentally responsible solution for landfill waste. The process not only gets municipal waste out of area landfills, but it also makes good use of the waste, creating a high energy form of liquid ethanol that can be used to supplement gasoline.
What’s more, Bardsfield said that it is a “closed loop” process, thereby producing zero emissions back into the atmosphere.
The synthetic ethanol product could then be used to blend with gasoline. This makes for a cleaner burn with reduced amounts of sulfur released into the atmosphere, Bardsfield said.
“This would mean a lot for Sevier Solid Waste and Sevier County,” said SSWI Manager Tom Leonard. “If they’re able to take those residuals and make use of them, we would have virtually no waste between the compost plant and the gasification,” he said.
The processing facility will utilize municipal solid waste, household rubbish, yard waste, and tires to create ethanol for use in the transportation industry. The plant will be based on the emerging technology of plasma gasification with proprietary catalytic treatment to achieve high yields of commercial fuel, while significantly reducing the volume of solid waste in the landfill.
Once online, Bardsfield said that, in an agreement with Leonard, Misty Mountain would begin by taking in the county’s waste, which would have been sent to the landfill—about 40 percent of the waste SSWI receives. The remainder consists of organic material, which is separated out and processed at SSWI’s composting facility.
Bardsfield said the company would probably process 100 tons of waste per day initially, expanding to 250 tons should they begin processing the organic materials in the future.
Misty Mountain representatives have already met with city and county officials and presented the concept. They now await approval of the permit application.