Gasplasma: A cleaner method of recovery

One company has combined gasification and plasma arc treatment technologies to create what it claims is a significantly cleaner energy-from-waste process

The recent UK Energy White Paper announced plans to triple electricity from renewable sources by 2015, despite concerns that the UK will not be able to reach existing targets of 10% by 2010 using wind, solar and biomass.

This is putting increasing pressure on local authorities to find ways of increasing the local generation of clean power.

Advanced Plasma Power (APP) says its Gasplasma plants provide an opportunity for local authorities to combine a near total waste management solution with over 99% diversion from landfill and zero-carbon power generation for the local community grid – housed in a small plant roughly the size of an out-of-town retail warehouse.

APP combines two established processes – gasification and plasma arc treatment. Its plants transform non-recyclable waste into a clean syngas, which is then used in gas engines to generate electricity. Through this process, the plants can also use the heat generated and recover over 60% of the energy, making them substantial net exporters of power back into the local community.

The process of combining gasification and plasma not only generates clean power and a high-strength building material (Plasmarok), but reduces the power requirements of the process, transforming the economics of the plants. APP says its Gasplasma plant competes with incineration on a number of fronts.

Firstly, from a planning perspective, APP says its facilities are only a third of the size of incinerators, meaning that they can be built on a scale to meet the needs of local communities.

The modular nature of the plants could help dispel the fears of local communities which object to the development of large-scale waste solutions.

The Gasplasma process also results in virtually zero emissions. APP says that recent tests have shown that its plants are not just carbon neutral, but carbon negative – which should help LAs meet their own emissions reduction targets. Finally, as APP builds, owns and operates its plants, LAs need only consider a gate fee – no upfront capital is required to build the plant.

Advanced Plasma Power

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