By Harold Bearden
Wednesday, April 13, 2011 | 12:04 PM
Hathaway Renewable Energy, Inc., is a newly established company focused on bringing the most clean and efficient form of renewable energy to the US marketplace. Founded in 2009 by Kevin Hathaway of Leoma, Tennessee, the company is currently involved in woody biomass to power projects in Florida and clean coal gasification to power projects in Virginia. Hathaway is working with a veteran of the defense and energy marketplace named MELE Associates, Inc. of Rockville, MD, for the wood to Green Diesel project in Winston County, AL.
Hathaway will bring proven technology to Winston County, AL that has been commercialized and is currently being deployed in Hawaii and in Europe. The technology relies upon microwave energy to create a reaction known as devolitization. Unlike pyrolysis, devolitization with a catalyst is a very clean and efficient way to breakdown biomass like wood, solid waste, grasses, etc., into smaller, more manageable organic molecules that can be very simply distilled into synthetic petrochemicals.
The Green Diesel that Hathaway will produce in Winston County will rely upon woody biomass as feedstock to produce a type of fuel that meets or exceeds the ASTMD 975 standard for #2 Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD). Hathaway will require approximately one hundred semi-loads per day of woody biomass in the form of wood chips or sawmill residue. The woody biomass will be converted into approximately 85,000 gallons of Green Diesel per day.
The project will begin during the second half of 2011 to begin full scale operations in the second half of 2013. MELE Associates will be responsible for plant construction and technology integration while Hathaway will be responsible for feedstock acquisition, plant operation, and product sales/customer service. Current plans are to begin staffing the operation during mid-2013 for 24/7 – 340 day per year operations.
The Winston County Green Diesel Project will benefit the local region in many different ways:
• it will create a local market for approximately $14MM of woody biomass annually.
• it will require approximately 30 full-time employees for $2MM in annual payroll
• it could provide renewable energy in the form of synthetic gas (similar to natural gas) and/or electricity for tenants of the Winston County Industrial Park
• it will help to fulfill Winston County’s role in making America energy independent
Information provided by Grady Batchelor, president of the Cooperative District of Winston County, Inc.