CASTLE ROCK, Colo., Jan. 30, 2004 -- Nathaniel Energy's "Thermal Combustor" -- a 2-stage gasification system which combusts waste, tires and any other solid, carbon-based materials into inexpensive electrical and thermal energy, while exceeding the most stringent EPA and European Union regulations - may be poised to make major waves in the renewable energy market.
The Thermal Combustor uses waste streams to produce low cost, reliable, clean "in the fence" energy, for commercial, industrial and municipal markets. Nathaniel Energy is in the process of developing energy infrastructures and mini power plants. Additionally, electricity produced can be sent to the utility grid. A Combustor is in use at the Atlanta Journal Constitution, orders have been placed for the Italian market, and various projects are in process around the country.
The Thermal Combustor efficiently turns processed fuel converted from feedstock such as waste, biomass, tires and virtually any solid carbon based material into useful energy without harming the environment. It does so by extracting chemical energy from within solid waste and converts into a clean usable energy.
In the Thermal Combustor, gasification and partial oxidation take place in separate gasification and oxidation areas of a single chamber, and final complete combustion takes place in the boiler.
Within the Thermal Combustor, these separate areas are established by carefully controlling oxygen content and temperature along the length of the Thermal Combustor. Controlling the areas environment controls the degree of oxidation, permitting final total combustion to occur within the boiler instead of within the Thermal Combustor, delivering maximum heat.
Once the feedstock has been processed into a fuel, most fuel still contains considerable water that must be removed before gasification. To accomplish this dewatering, the fuel first drops onto fire belt 1 into a low temperature region, about 100° F. As the belt advances, reflected radiant heat from ongoing downstream reactions increases the temperature to about 500° F, extracting as much water as possible from the fuel.
The heat used to dehydrate the processed fuel is virtually the only energy expended throughout the entire process that does not produce value - either heat or reclaimed materials for reuse. To minimize this lost energy, Nathaniel Energy strives to use processed fuel having a water content of about 10%, although the Thermal Combustor can accept water content up to 50%.