Thursday, December 14th, 2017

Nature's Fuel to build plant

Posted: Saturday, February 5, 2011

Representatives from Nature’s Fuel and partner AE Equities came to Huntington’s City Building on Friday, February 4 to announce that the permits needed to convert waste into renewable fuel at a plant near the Huntington landfill have been secured. More than $50 million will be invested and eventually 150 employees will be hired at the facility which will open by the end of the year.

Bill Sinish, the company’s CEO, was present for the announcement Friday and explained that the Fort Wayne company plans a groundbreaking in the spring on 23 acres adjacent to the landfill on County Road 300 W. Waste products that would normally be buried in the landfill will be converted into renewable fuel and other products at the 125,000 square-foot planned facility. Plans have been in the works for the project by Nature’s Fuel since 2008 and now, with the approval of the company’s air and land permits by The Indiana Department of Environmental Management, the project will go forward.

The process used by Nature’s Fuel to convert paper, plastic, tires, wood, and cloth into ultra-low-sulfur fuel oil and electricity is called pyrolyzation. According to company officials, these items after being put through the process which includes heating, filtering, and cooling, become oil. The small amount of sterile, stable residue remaining after the heating process can be used in landscaping and building projects. Nothing is incinerated and there is no risk of explosion. Metals, glass, ceramics, and pebbles are pulled out of the trash as the temperatures used in the process are not high enough to melt the items.

Nature’s Fuels president Glenn Johnson said his company’s technology is the first of its kind and most of the project’s expense is due to unique equipment designed by the company and specially built by a supplier.

Company officials explained that the Waste to Energy conversion process used by Nature’s Fuels sequesters and stabilizes environmental hazards such as sulfur, chorine, and mercury and they “put next to nothing in the air.” Charcoal filters will reduce odors at the sight and a row of trees will be added on the fourth side of the property making the building difficult to be seen from the road.

The money to build the plant is being supplied by Detroit-based AE Equities, an architecture, engineering, and development firm, until the partners secure bonds. The companies will seek county property tax abatements but are not receiving incentives from state or city officials. Construction is expected to take six to seven months. Company officials plan to open the facility with 75 employees and hire the remainder before the end of 2012.

Positions with Nature’s Fuel include chemical engineers, chemists, heavy-equipment operators, and sorters. Wages will range from $14 to $25 per hour and plans include hiring local people, according to company officials. Johnson also believes the Huntington operation will become a training site for employees hired for additional plants the company plans to open. The company has plans to start three or four plant projects per year.

Nature’s Fuel has a goal of lessening the country’s dependence on foreign oil and cleaning up the planet according to Johnson. Toward this goal, the Huntington County landfill currently receives more than 30,000 tons of waste per year and the company’s officials estimate that each of their processing units can handle 10 to 12 tons of landfill waste per hour.  For more information about Nature’s Fuel visit the website at www.naturesfuel.net.