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Plans to gasify solid waste expand
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Westinghouse Plasma is providing gasification technology, which has been used in Mihama-Mikata waste-to-energy facilities in Japan for more than five years.

Plans to build facilities to gasify municipal solid waste are starting to materialize around the country as work proceeds on a plasma gasification facility in Florida.

The St. Lucie County Solid Waste Baling & Recycling Facility in St. Lucie County, Florida, which processes nearly 1,300 tons of waste a day, hopes to start construction on a new plant to turn trash into power in the next 12 months.

St. Lucie County started its due diligence process to find a permanent solution for its waste stream over three years ago, said Ron Roberts, assistant solid waste director. The county researched bioreactors, incineration, standard gasification, plasma arc gasification, pyrolysis, and other thermal conversion technology processes.

“After more than 4,000 pages of research, one technology had the staying power to remain at the top of the list. It was plasma arc gasification,” Roberts said.

An ionized gas is passed over an electrical arc creating plasma, a super heated gas more than 5,000 degrees Celsius. This breaks the molecular bonds and the carbonaceous waste is converted into a synthetic gas of mainly hydrogen and carbon monoxide.

Atlanta-based Geoplasma LLC, a subsidiary of Jacoby Development Inc., is developing the plasma-arc gasification project in St. Lucie County. The facility, which will be owned and operated by Geoplasma, will cost approximately $200 million. more






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