Biomass Organic and Non-Organic Pyrolysis Plasma Technology
Waste to Energy: MSW to Energy – Please contact us for additional information
It is of interest that the plasma process can be used for many different processes. The only thing in common in these processes is that the equipment will not change much, except in the feeders and the gas treatment –both of which will be modified to optimize performance. Likewise the by-products of the process can have multiple uses.
- Syngas can be used for other purposes besides power generation. It is an excellent raw material for the generation of Methanol, just as one example.
- Syngas can be used to generate hydrocarbon fuels, such as diesel. The technology is not new. Germany used coal gasification as a method of generating liquid diesel fuel during WW II. It also has application in the refinery industry where the hydrogen can be generated from the gasification of the waste petroleum coke and then used to lower the sulphur in fuels. This is becoming critical based on the new low sulphur fuel requirements.
- Slag – which is being supplied as fiber for the rockwool market – can also be used as a fibre replacement for the now banned asbestos. As such, it can be used to manufacture water pipes (the old AC pipes), roofing materials, ceiling tiles, flooring tiles, etc. The applications are numerous based on the wide spread use of asbestos. Fortunately, unlike asbestos, the slag fibres are non-hazardous or dangerous as are the by-products of the glassy slag aggregate.
- Metals – the metals will pool so that they can be collected in their metallic form by casting into ingots or billets. As the contamination of the metals will be only the contamination that has been included in the feed, in some cases it is possible to recover the metals in very pure forms. The steel collected from such feedstock as tires will usually be stainless. In a different case, if Nickel Cadmium batteries are processed alone, it is possible to collect the Nickel in its metallic form and the Cadmium by precipitating it in the quench.
Additional Feed Stocks:
Hazardous waste can be dissociated in a plasma arc system due to its temperature and closed environment. Plasma arc systems can be used for the destruction of chlorinated hydrocarbons that cannot be easily processed with other methods. Items such as PCB (Polychlorinated biphenyls) are another group of chemicals that are also easily dissociated and provide a significant source of syngas. The main issue of any hazardous waste destruction that is intermixed with MSW is one of obtaining permits, since the molecular dissociation will occur regardless of the feedstock composition.
The plasma system does not care what it dissociates. If the energy imparted by the plasma is greater than the energy of the molecular bond, the molecule will dissociate. As such, it is possible to gasify coal and produce syngas quite readily. The Sulphur in the coal can be collected as an acid gas or it can be made to react with lime to form a calcium sulphate slag. Regardless, it is possible to successfully gasify coal with minimum concern to its level of sulphur.
Plasma has several applications in the petrochemical industry both in the refinery and the plastic manufacturing sector.
The refineries generate a petroleum waste product that is a heavy hydrocarbon. Depending on the process, this is sometimes called petroleum coke. This material is rich in both Carbon and Hydrogen. The new low-sulphur fuel regulations are increasing the demand for Hydrogen at the refinery, which is currently being generated from the breakdown of Methane (natural gas). This hydrogen is becoming more and more expensive as the cost of natural gas continues to increase. In addition, the disposal of the pet coke can be expensive as some of this product can be considered hazardous or may not be suitable as a fuel because of the high sulphur content and the presence of heavy metals. None of these problems affect plasma since it dissociates and recovers both the energy from this waste product and generates large amounts of hydrogen as a by-product.