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JuLY 2007

Koochiching County, Minnesota receives plasma gasification study grant

A $400,000 grant has been awarded to the Koochiching Economic Development Authority (KEDA) for a plasma gasification feasibility study. The proposed facility, to be located in International Falls, Minnesota would be operated by Koochiching County and be the first of its kind in the United States.

The proposed plasma gasification operation would utilize garbage and biomass by superheating the materials in an oxygen-deprived vessel and converting them into renewable energy. The process provides an environmentally friendly alternative to land filling. The feasibility study will examine the scope and size of the project and answer questions such as where the waste will come from, who will buy the energy, emissions output and operational issues.

Dr. Louis Circeo, director of plasma research at Georgia Tech Research Institute, is optimistic about the outcome of the study. “I believe that this feasibility study will indicate the potential benefits of plasma technology to process municipal wastes in a clean, efficient and cost- effective manner. At the same time, the ability of this technology to create significant amounts of renewable energy to alleviate the energy crisis in the United States should be clearly demonstrated.”