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Gasification can be accomplished using MASS BURN techniques which is in fact the most widely used methodology throughout the US and EU. High tech incineration as well as collection techniques from landfill gasses are effective and commonly employed due to their relative costs compared to plasma ( the most expensive) and pyrolysis.



GASIFICATION (Click here for more about gasification)
This is clearly thought to be the way of the future in both terms of efficiency and the environment.  Gasification is a flexible and clean energy technology that can turn a variety of feedstock into energy, helping to reduce dependence on  carbon based energy sources providing a clean alternative source of electricity, fertilizers, fuels, and other useful by-products. Gasification converts almost any material into a useable and efficient gas (syngas). The syngas can be used to produce electricity directly, via gas turbines or used to produce liquid fuels, bio fuels, a substitute for natural gas (SNG), or hydrogen.  There are more than 140 gasification plants operating worldwide. Nineteen of those plants are located in the United States. Worldwide gasification capacity is projected to grow 70% by 2015, with 80% of that growth occurring in Asia.


There are many companies producing gasification technologies. There are two main types of gasification; Pyrolysis and Plasma Arc.


PYROLYSIS (Click here for more about Pyrolysis Gasification)
is a thermo chemical decomposition of organic material at elevated temperatures in the absence of oxygen. Pyrolysis typically occurs under pressure and at operating temperatures above 430 C (800 F). The word is coined from the Greek-derived elements pyr "fire" and lysis "separating". Pyrolysis is a special case of thermolysis, and is most commonly used for organic materials. The Pyrolysis or gasification of wood, which starts at 200300 C (390570 F), and occurs naturally for example when vegetation comes into contact with lava in volcanic eruptions. In general, pyrolysis of organic substances produces gas and liquids leaving a solid residue richer in carbon content. Extreme pyrolysis, which leaves mostly carbon as the residue, is called carbonization.

PLASMA or PLASMA ARC (Click here for more about Plasma Gasification)
Plasma arc gasification is a waste treatment technology that uses very powerful electrical energy creating extremely high temperatures by an electric arc. This is like a continuous lightning bolt and instantly breaks down all material into elemental gas and limited solid waste (slag), in a device called a plasma converter.

The process has been intended to be a net generator of electricity, depending upon the composition of input wastes, and to dramatically reduce the volumes of waste sent to landfills. Relatively high voltage, high current electricity is passed between two electrodes, spaced apart, creating an electrical arc. Inert gas under pressure is passed through the arc into a sealed container of waste material, reaching temperatures as high as 25,000 F (13,900 C) in the arc column. The temperature a few feet from the torch can be as high as 5,0008,000 F (2,7604,427 C). 

At these temperatures, most types of waste are broken into basic elemental components in a gaseous form, and complex molecules are separated into individual atoms. The reactor operates at a slightly negative pressure, meaning that the feed system is complemented by a gaseous removal system, and later a solid removal system. Depending on the input waste (plastics tend to be high in hydrogen and carbon), gas from the plasma containment can be removed as syngas.


Information with thanks to the "Gasification Technologies Council"



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