FirmGreen Energy, a privately held Newport Beach, CA, alternative energy company announced Wednesday that ground has been broken for a three-phase trash-to-energy project with the Franklin County Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO). The project will involve capturing, cleaning and using methane and carbon dioxide (CO-2) from SWACO’s landfill gas in multiple end-use applications.

FirmGreen’s unique spin is that it will create three forms of energy byproducts in three separate project phases spread over the next 18 to 24 months, beginning with Phase One that is scheduled to be operational the end of the year, using cleaned landfill gas to produce electricity for use by SWACO at its waste management facilities. Both SWACO and local communities will realize “significant benefits through environmentally sound waste management, generation of clean renewable energy, skilled jobs and increased tax revenue,” said FirmGreen President Steve Wilburn.

In a second phase, scheduled to be completed by the end of the first quarter next year, some of the landfill gas supplies will be converted to compressed natural gas (CNG) to fuel the waste management fleet, along with local school and public transit buses.

Phase three will convert other landfill gas into methanol for use in “building products, fuel cells, and the manufacture of biodiesel,” according to FirmGreen’s Wilburn, who said that the company has an agreement with Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Co. to sell methanol from the so-called “Green Energy Center” being developed for SWACO. The third phase will take 14 months to develop once it obtains necessary local/state regulatory permitting.

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