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Another Green Corporation

By using the technological equivalent of the power of lightning, a company called
Plasco, has a goal to turn our garbage problem into a profitable energy solution.

Plasmagasification is the process of turning waste into electricity.  Plasma is
sometimes called the 4th state of matter. The first state is solid, add heat to a
solid and it becomes the second state, liquid.  Add heat to a liquid and it is
converted into the third state which is gas. Add heat to gas and you get the fourth
state, – plasma.  The sun and lightning are both examples of plasma.

They harness this lightning like power by creating an electric arc between two
electrodes. A small amount of gas is passed through those electrodes. The gas then
ionizes and is transformed into plasma.  The Plasma torches can reach temperatures
of 5,000 to 10,000 degrees Celsius, that is 4,000 degrees hotter than the outer layer
of the sun.

Even tho it is exposed to intense heat, the waste is not incinerated because
plasmagasification works in the absents or near absents of oxygen, which means it
is a process of decomposition and not combustion. The super heated plasma has the
unique power to totally decompose any kind waste, down to it’s elements.
For example:   diaper in a landfill   = 500 years to decompose
diaper in plasma chamber = 5 seconds to decompose

When the municipal waste arrives at the processing plant it travels up a screw
conveyor, drops into the main chamber of the converter, where it’s converted into a
raw or crude synthetic gas, that “syngas” travels up into the refining chamber where
the plasma torches convert it into the product quality gas. The cooled and clean
syngas is piped over to 5 engines. Each engine capable of producing just under 1
megawatt of power. Once the process gets going, it powers itself.

Almost nothing goes to waste, the plasma torch is used again to melt any of the left
over ash into a glass like slag. This silicate slag can be sold for everything from
road bed aggregate to jewelry.

For cities like New York which pays $90 a ton to handle it’s garbage, the power and
slag that is created by plasmagasification could allow the city to actually EARN
$15 a ton.

The only waste left over in the entire process is 1.3 kilograms per ton of waste, of
heavy metal and activated carbon. That’s just over 2/10th of a percent away from
zero waste.

Plasco’s sophisticated control system produces more power per ton of waste than
any other waste conversion technology yet known.

In the future this technology will be able to turn our trash into any fuel gas, even
hydrogen to power future cars.

This technology is still being tested and approved so it might still be a few years
before plasma is disintegrating your trash and powering your neighborhood.
But it is one step closer to zero waste with very green benefits.

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No Responses to “Another Green Corporation”

  1. Matt Urdan Says:

    That’s fascinating Linda! Make sure you digg this…I tried to digg, but it hasn’t been submitted yet. I didn’t want to misinterpret how you wanted to chracterize the story, so I didn’t submit it in fear of getting the description wrong. But this is important.

    After you submit this to digg, let me know and I’ll definitely digg this.

    All, it’s Sunday and I’m catching up on comments for the week. This is in response to your comment on my post: Almost Wordless Wednesday: Pixar’s WALL-E.

    Linda–WOW, thank you so much for the kind words, the superlative, and the validation.

    Jennifer–I actually refer to Short Circuit in my review. Johnny 5 was hilarious. The difference between Johnny 5 and WALL-E though is that WALL-E can’t talk. Johnny 5 had clever dialog for his humor. WALL-E just has expression and gestures–which is far more difficult to do–especially to animate. Let me know what you think of WALL-E after you see it.

    Sizzlingpopcorn–Thanks Jean! No doubt…You know, there’s always the possibility of Best Picture as well–Beauty and the Beast got a nomination…WALL-E is better.

    the bushie–it’s dramatic, but very lighthearted. Make sure you stop back at MTMD and let me know what you thought about the movie after you see it.

    Henson–You are so right! Have you seen WALL-E yet? I’m anxious to know what you think, especially considering our recent discussion on animated films.

    tashabud–Yeah, well, when I love something, I glow. Kind of like ET’s Heartlight. 😉 Let me know what you think after you see WALL-E!

    Crazy Working Mom–You won’t be disappointed. Why don’t you go see it today? The night is young. Do it now.


    Matt Urdans last blog post..Digg This: Making the Most of Digg w/ EntreCard

  2. Mrs. Mecomber Says:

    Interesting idea. But New York would NEVER go for it, not if it meant lowering taxes or saving money.

    Mrs. Mecombers last blog post..Fort Stanwix July Schedule

  3. Linda Says:

    Matt .. it has been dug and thanks for coming by!

    Mrs. Mecombers … HA! you MIGHT live in New York! No, you do live in New York!

  4. Condo Blues Says:

    Wow. I wish they’d consider building one of these power plants in Ohio instead of the planned coal fired power plant.

    I Stumbled this for you because I couldn’t Digg it.

    Condo Bluess last blog post..A Contest So Cool It’ll Make You Wet the Bed (and Keep It Dry Too)

  5. Linda Says:

    Hey Condo … I wish they would build everywhere and there would be no problems with trash!

  6. Brad Says:

    Okay, Linda, this one I like. I guess the proof will be in the pudding. Can this technology actually do what you’ve described cost effectively?

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