Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Florida city will use plasma to burn garbage

by manon Sun Sep 10th, 2006 at 10:55:26 AM EST

A Florida county has grand plans to ditch its dump, generate electricity and help build roads — all by vaporizing garbage at temperatures hotter than parts of the sun.

The $425-million facility expected to be built in St. Lucie County will use lightning-like plasma arcs to turn trash into gas and rock-like material. It will be the first such plant in the nation operating on such a massive scale and the largest in the world.


They expect that they will only use about 1/3 of the electricity they generate to power the plant, and sell the rest to the grid.

The by-product is expected to be a type of slag which can be used to contruct roads.

And, finally, the city thinks it can go through its old garbage in 18 years.

It will be interesting to see how this project works out.

I wonder what the constituents of the other byproduct "gas," are?
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Sun Sep 10th, 2006 at 01:29:53 PM EST
Apparently it produces a combustible gas that can be used to drive turbines, rather like natural gas-powered plants. Though there is some dispute as to which of these two processes is more polluting. (But still a lot less than coal)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Sep 10th, 2006 at 03:45:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IIRC the process uses 5000 C ish temps to rip everything fed to it down to molecular levels.  Not much oxygen added so you get a syngas rich in CO and CH4.  Plus whatever else will vaporize.  The gas will have to be cleaned up like regular incinerators for mercury etc.

Hope it works.  The people touting it have been pretty flaky -- tried to sell in on our small island but there was no way we'd go for a totally unproven technology with no alternatives out here.  

Plasma arc has been used on medical wastes and I believe a tire incinerator in Japan.  Just not proven on mixed feeds like garbage in terms of life, degree of air pollution, economics etc.

by HiD on Mon Sep 11th, 2006 at 04:47:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Very interesting. I have to go to Europe to find out what's happening in the US. Typical.

Share. Share resources, share delight, share burdens, share the healing. If we only could realize that sharing will bring us back from mass suicide.
by Isis on Sun Sep 10th, 2006 at 06:14:42 PM EST

Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]