Nathaniel Energy Corp. is building two tires-to-energy plants in Oklahoma and Nevada as soon as it can get the permits, according to company President Stan Abrams.
Nathaniel Energy, a Castle Rock-based energy company that specializes in using various waste products as fuel, already has filed for permits for a 15-to-20-megawatt facility in Keyes, Okla. It will file permit applications for the 25-megawatt plant at the Tonopah Aeronautics and Technology Park in Nye County, Nev., by December, Mr. Abrams said.
Both plants will burn tire-derived fuel using Nathaniel Energy's patented ``Thermal Combustor,'' which burns shredded tires and leaves carbon black and salable carbon dioxide as by-products, according to company publicity. Both will have commercial greenhouses attached to produce tomatoes and other vegetables, increasing production over conventional greenhouses by 20 percent while cutting costs 15 percent, the company said.
The Keyes plant will use the equivalent of 12 to 15 million scrap tires annually, while the Tonopah facility will use about 20 million, according to Mr. Abrams. The company currently has a tire shredding facility near Hutchins, Ky., with a processing capacity of 2.5 million tires per year. The Tonopah and Keyes plants will have satellite tire processing plants with a combined capacity of 8 to 9 million tires annually, Mr. Abrams said.
Nathaniel Energy has set up more than 20 energy facilities powered with Thermal Combustors across the U.S. and in South Korea, Japan and Australia. The Keyes and Tonopah plants, however, will be the first commercial Thermal Combustors to use scrap tires as fuel, according to Mr. Abrams. The others use sawdust, agricultural wastes and other biomass as fuel. Among other things, Nathaniel Energy's Thermal Combustors guarantee a clean burn with emissions levels well within Environmental Protection Agency limits, according to Mr. Abrams.
Total cost of building the plants will amount to ``about $1 million per megawatt,'' he said. Each plant will have 20-40 employees to start, but the attached greenhouses could employ several hundred, he added.