Plasma gasification technology in the US is developing fast, and could be the perfect way to divert Municipal Solid waste from landfill and produce valuable by-products.
Plasma gasification is an emerging technology which can process landfill waste to extract commodity recyclables and convert carbon-based materials into fuels. It can form an integral component in a system to achieve zero-waste and produce renewable fuels, whilst caring for the environment. Plasma arc processing has been used for years to treat hazardous waste, such as incinerator ash and chemical weapons, and convert them into non-hazardous slag.
Gasification technology is by no means new: in the 1850s, This technology was used for waste management in most of the city of London was illuminated by “town gas” produced from the gasification of coal. Nowadays, gasification is the main technology for biomass conversion to energy and an attractive alternative for the thermal treatment of solid waste. The number of different uses of gas shows the flexibility of gasification and therefore allows it to be integrated with several industrial processes, as well as power generation systems. The use of a waste–biomass energy production system in a rural community is very interesting too. This paper describes the current state of gasification technology, energy recovery systems, pre-treatments and prospective in syngas use with particular attention to the different process cycles and environmental impacts of solid wastes gasification.