The county of St. Lucie, Florida will be home to the first plasma gasification plant in the US. They’ve contracted with Geoplasma to construct the plant which will use plasma to rip apart 1500 tons of garbage each day. From what I recall reading before the primary byproduct is an obsidian like residue. The process also powers turbines which creates electricity. I’m not quite sure that the whole process creates energy though…. I would be interested in hearing the complete process and get the numbers of power input to output from the whole process.
I do also wonder about whether or not it makes sense to vaporize pretty much ANY trash. Recycling helps us reclaim some scarce materials for reuse, this would obliterate them at the molecular level.
IF, the input material is chosen wisely and they really are cleaner than incenerators and the energy equation isn’t too great a loss, these kinds of plants could dramatically help our trash problems.
Think about the tons of garbage that are dumped in landfills each year. If we could actually reclaim some energy out of them through a process that was relatively clean, that would be fantastic. There’s a certain amount of brilliance in taking something that everybody wants to get rid of and making it a valuable input to make something everybody wants.
I’ll be interested to hear more about this process and more analysis of the net energy usage as well as how clean it is.