20. What is the Plasma Arc?

Plasma arc gasification is a waste treatment technology that uses electrical energy and the high temperatures created by an electric arc gasifier.

This arc breaks down waste primarily into elemental gas and solid waste (slag), in a device called a plasma converter.

The process has been intended to be a net generator of energy, depending upon the composition of input wastes, and to reduce the volumes of waste being sent to landfill sites.

The process is considerably more complicated than basic gasification, as is demonstrated in the attached diagram. However, unlike basic gasification, a plasma arc system will completely convert all organic material in the feedstock.

Like straightforward gasification, the gases produced (often referred to as synthetic gas or snygas) are captured and processed to remove any organic particles that might have been released from the organic matter and to remove any organic chemicals that may not easily burn.

The processed syngas can be used to power cars, busses, heat homes, run electrical generators, etc. In other words syngas can be used anyplace that natural gas is used today.

To learn more about the plasma gasification process click here or here