The Gasplasma® process is the first energy-from-waste solution to convert nearly 100% of the waste received to a valuable resource. Like traditional energy-from-waste facilities, the Gasplasma® plant recovered recycleable materials at the Refuse-Derived Fuel (RDF) production stage. These are valuable materials that would otherwise end up in landfills - the diversion of these valuable recycleables leads to higher diversion rates and, ultimately, fewer natural resources being extracted to replace these materials being buried in landfills.
The non-recycleable material moves on to the energy recovery stage. These are materials that are a combination of mineral and carbon based wastes that have no recycling means or value - however, they can be transformed with the Gasplasma® process to create a clean gas. Because of the high temperature plasma process, all of the waste is converted into two very distinct streams - synthetic gas (or syngas) and Plamsarok®. The syngas is used to generate electrical energy while the Plasmarok® is used to substitute aggregate for road construction.
“The Gasplasma® process is the first energy-from-waste solution to convert nearly 100% of the waste received to a valuable resource.”
Waste Hierarchy without Gasplamsa®
Note: Modern mass burn incinerators produce 15-25% residuals by weight of the incoming waste. Most of this is hazardous ash requiring treatment and proper disposal.
In a world with Gasplasma® facilities, the waste hierarchy no longer requires a “disposal” stage. Disposal means that material can no longer provide value to society - the only option is to discard. The ability of the Gasplasma® facility to convert nearly 100% of the waste materials to a resource not only reshapes energy-from-waste technology - it reshapes society’s approach to how we utilize the resource and energy that is contained within our waste. With Gasplasma® we can mine for minerals and energy out of our waste instead of the earth.
“With Gasplasma® we can mine for minerals and energy out of our waste instead of the earth.”
Unlike traditional energy-from-waste facilities, Gasplamsa® does not produce a hazardous residue ash that requires treatment and disposal. Incineration bottom ash contains leachable levels of heavy metals while other technologies typically produce solid residues that contain high levels of chars, tars and heavy metals that may also require disposal to hazardous landfill.
Plasmarok® is formed in the heart of the plasma converter where the intense heat (around 8,000 degrees Celsius) reduces the ash forming part of the waste feedstock into a molten vitreous material resembling volcanic lava. The molten rock is then cooled to create products for specific use such as aggregate for pipe or road base.
Plasmarok® is the fully vitrified, mechanically strong and environmentally stable and inert product that is recovered from the Advanced Plasma Power Gasplasma® energy from waste process. Simply put, it’s a material that has been reduced to a stable and inert product by being subjected to extreme heat. Read more.
Waste Hierarchy with Gasplamsa®
Note: Gasplasma® process creates less than 1% residuals from incoming waste. Most of this material is dust from pollution control equipment some of which may be re-introduced into the process.
“Plasmarok® has undergone independent leachate testing against BS EN 12457 and has demonstrated that there is no potential to cause pollution or harm to human health when it is stored or used.”
The problem: GHG emissions resulting from waste management (landfill), mineral extraction (mining), and power generation. Independent processes release significant GHGs while consuming land space and wasting resources.
The CO2 Story
There is no argument that climate change is having a significant impact on how we shape our future actions locally and globally. The human-made contribution to climate change, as a result of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), is a challenge that is at the forefront of governments, companies, and individuals worldwide. The Gasplasma® story is no different. The ability to improve the environmental state of the world is at the forefront of the Gasplasma® story.
The overall greenhouse gas impact of the Gasplasma facility is a significant reduction from the single focused alternatives of fossil fuel energy generation, landfilling, and mineral extraction through mining. The facility simply eliminates the GHG emissions associated with landfilling which occurs primarily from trucking (as landfills are located away from the source of the waste) and landfill gas as biological matter breaks down to create methane. The facility also eliminates GHGs associated with mineral extraction by recycleable materials at the Refuse-Derived Fuel (RDF) production stage and manufacturing of Plasmarok® which offsets the required mining of natural materials. Finally, the high efficiency power generation unit utilizes the synthetic gas (syngas) to generate electricity - the syngas contains biogenic waste material which can reduce the human-made GHG emissions associated with electrical power generation.
"The overall greenhouse gas impact of the Gasplasma facility is a significant reduction from the single focused alternatives of fossil fuel energy generation, landfilling, and mineral extraction through mining.”
The solution: GHGs from the Gasplasma® process eliminate emissions associated with landfilling, mineral extraction (for recycled and recovered minerals), and reduce GHG emissions from power generation due to biogenic material in the waste streams.