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Plasma Arc Gasification Technology

  • By: David Hosansky
  • In: Green Technology: An A-to-Z Guide
  • Edited by: Dustin Mulvaney
  • Subject:Environmental Sciences (general), Environmental Technology, Policy & Management

Plasma arc gasification is an emerging waste treatment technology that uses electrical energy and high temperatures to turn garbage into usable by-products without burning it. An electrical arc gasifier passes very high voltage electrical current through two electrodes, creating an arc between them. This arc breaks down most of the waste into gas and solid waste, or slag, in a device called a plasma converter. The process can reduce the volume of waste sent to landfills and also be a net generator of electricity.

Plasma arc gasification appears to offer significant potential for reducing landfill waste and converting garbage into useful products. However, the likely costs of such facilities and the uncertain environmental impacts have complicated efforts to build them. Small facilities operate in several countries, ...

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