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Environmental Benefits

The technology used by Phoenix Energy to turn your waste from industry agriculture and forestry into power has many environmental benefits. At Phoenix Energy we are deeply committed to our customers both in reducing their costs of operation and in helping them be good corporate citizens, having a positive impact on the environment. By installing our wood waste gasification systems our customers help to:

  1. Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  2. Reduce the amount of toxic pollutants in the atmosphere
  3. Save landfill space from taking up more of our landscape and reduce groundwater contaminants
  4. Improve energy security and reduce dependence on foreign sources of energy

Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Using biomass power replaces the need to burn use coal to generate electricity. Additionally, the use of biomass power also reduces the need for oil to mine and deliver coal to far off power stations, thereby significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Most surprisingly, using wood waste as fuel is actually more beneficial to the environment than allowing it to decompose naturally, because of the elimination of methane during combustion.

As wood starts to decompose it releases roughly equal amounts of methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2). Both of these gases belong to the group that is commonly referred to as “greenhouse gases.” What is surprising about this is that, while we normally hear greenhouse gases expressed in terms of carbon dioxide, methane is a much more powerful gas that causes roughly 25 times the greenhouse impact of CO2. The gasification process used by Phoenix Energy virtually eliminates the amount of methane released into the air, relative to decomposition in a landfill or forest. According to the EPA, 250lbs of methane are released per thousand tons of wood while making biomass power v. 430,000lbs per thousand tons as wood rots in a landfill.

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Reduce Toxic Pollutants

In addition to producing significant volumes of greenhouse gases, conventional power generation using fossil fuels also emits a significant number of harmful pollutants that are either not present or insignificant in wood. For instance, Mercury is a highly poisonous substance that is emitted during the combustion of most fossil fuels. While power plants release an average of 0.02 kg of mercury per giga watt of electricity, wood fueled plants release 0. Sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) are also vastly lower in biomass power than in a coal power plant. More importantly, however, these naturally occurring pollutants would be released either way as wood decomposed. Using biomass generated power leaves coal and other fossil fuels and their toxic components in the ground!

Save Landfill Space & Reduce Landfill Damage to Watersheds

Landfill space is precious. But the fact remains that humans make waste and it has to go somewhere. The more we can do to reduce, reuse and recycle the less we have to worry about where our garbage goes. The more we can do to divert waste away from the landfill the less of our landscape will be taken up by landfills. In fact, most of our big cities now have run out of space and pay to have their garbage hauled out into the heartland adding insult to injury. If you live in southern California there’s a good chance that your garbage ends up in Arizona. If you live in New York it probably ends up in western Pennsylvania.

According to the Department of Energy, wood waste typically makes up about 15% by weight and 20% by volume of the material that enters a landfill. So diverting to use in generating biomass power can make a real difference.

Like any other organic mater, decomposing wood waste is a source of leachates that pollute the water table.

“Landfill burial of biomass residues accelerates the depletion of landfill capacity and leads to much higher emissions of greenhouse gases compared to [use] of the material in power plants (Dept of Energy).”

Improve Energy Security & Energy Diversity

From California style brownouts to New York style blackouts to hurricanes, accidents or acts of terrorism using a PHX-1000 wood waste power plant adds a layer of energy security to make sure that your business is always with power. Because our system is normally installed in parallel to the grid you always have a reliable back-up – as long as you have waste wood, you have power.

Producing more power than you need? Spin your meter backwards and have the power company pay you! Need more power than you are generating, supplement by taking part of the power from your Phoenix Energy power plant, and part from the local utility.

Also important is that grid parallel operation works both ways. If someone drives a truck into your PHX-1000 and knocks it out, the grid takes over seamlessly with no interruption. If a production spike causes you to need more power than the PHX-1000 produces you take the additional power you need from the grid. Because of the parallel interconnection, neither you nor your equipment ever need know where the power is coming from.

Finally, using the PHX-1000 helps promote energy independence by reducing demand for foreign sources of energy as well as promoting diversity among sources of energy. All of this means that should there be some supply crisis in fuel oil or coal, natural gas or other, you have a backup to see you through any price spikes or interruptions.

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