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Westinghouse Plasma is the next generation of waste to energy gasification technology.

A plasma gasifier is an oxygen starved vessel where various feedstocks can be gasified using the very high temperatures achievable with plasma. Rather than being combusted, the heat breaks down the feedstock into elements like hydrogen and simple compounds like water and carbon monoxide. The gas that is created is called synthesis gas or "syngas".

The syngas created in the gasifier, which features dust (particulates) and other unwanted elements like mercury, experiences a cleaning procedure to make it acceptable for conversion into other forms of energy including power, heat and liquid fuels. The syngas clean-up procedure is tailored to satisfy the necessities of every project. In most cases, notably where municipal solid waste (MSW) is the feedstock, the syngas cleaning will comprise particulate removal, sulphur removal and mercury/heavy metals removal.

Plasma gasification differs from non-plasma gasification in a single crucial area - temperature. The higher temperatures inside our plasma gasifier ends in the complete destruction of pitches. Non plasma gasifiers normally work between 800 and 900 degC and cannot eliminate tars during operations. As it is extremely hard to remove pitches downstream of a gasifier, the utility of the syngas made by non-plasma gasifiers is quite small. Syngas created by non-plasma gasifiers can be combusted instantaneously to create power but it cannot be conditioned for conversion or for use in gas turbines, reciprocating engines into liquid fuels.

In the near future, we expect to power fuel cells with syngas from our gasifier.


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