Plasma Gasification

Proven, safe technology

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Metaphorical VortexPlasma gasification is a proven technology that is advancing commercially. It is rapidly emerging as the best response to many of the earth’s increasing waste disposal and energy problems of the 21st century.

Current technologies, using plasma gasification, can cleanly convert almost any waste material into usable resources, such as electricity, synthetic fuels, and valuable commercial products. The high gasification temperatures create the plasma state, sometimes referred to as the “fourth state of matter,” following gas, liquid, and solid. In nature, well-known examples of plasma are lightning and the sun.

Although plasma gasification is not a new technology, Waste-to-Energy is a recent innovative application that has emerged within the past decade because of the technology’s superior ability to:

  • Achieve sustainability goals, specifically 100% conversion of municipal solid waste (MSW) into usable/saleable by-products, e.g., energy, alternative fuels, metal recovery, glass, and construction materials.
  • Minimize air emissions, when compared to other WTE technologies, and manage the release of greenhouse gases.
  • Eliminate the need for landfill disposal of municipal solid waste and its related environmental concerns.

Plasma gasification technology uses electricity and high pressure air to reach temperatures of 7,200 to 12,600 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, which creates an ionized gas capable of conducting electrical current. The technology operates at temperatures nearly five times greater than conventional gasification and pyrolysis technologies, and nearly seven times greater than incineration. At such intense temperatures, the enclosed oxygen-starved plasma gasification process generates different chemistry, which yields higher carbon conversion to produce more energy and cleaner results.

The centerpieces of a plasma gasification technology system are the plasma torches, which create intensely high temperatures, to create an ionized gas stream or plasma. Plasma torches and heating technology were first used by NASA in the early 1960’s to test the durability of its space vehicle’s heat shields for re-entry into our atmosphere. Their successful commercial application of this technology has led them to be considered for use in various industries.

Key benefits include:

  • Proven, safe technology
  • Processes virtually any waste stream (toxic, medical, industrial, electronic, hazardous, MSW, agricultural)
  • Produces a wide range of highly profitable byproducts
    • Electricity, construction materials, synthetic fuels (ethanol, methanol, etc.), chemicals, rock wool, molten slag, recyclable ceramic-type tiles, algae by-products, metal reclamation
  • Reduces or eliminates harmful emissions
  • Virtually eliminates the need for landfills
  • Scalable to accommodate large waste volume (several thousand tons per day)
  • Helps municipalities meet local, state, federal, and international requirements for reduced emissions, waste diversion, and other environmental mandates

Plasma gasification technology provides the greatest value in the application of a world class technology to solve one of the world’s greatest environmental needs; the disposal of man-made waste in an environmentally responsible and economically attractive manner.

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