Conventional Air Fed vs Plasma Gasification

Conventional air fed gasification, as used by EPR, is very different from plasma arc gasification. As shown in the image to the right, plasma arc gasification requires large amounts of energy to strike and maintain a high current electric arc between electrodes within the source or between the source and reaction chamber.

A great deal of money has been spent on plasma arc gasification. While this technology may have limited use in the safe disposal of certain hazardous materials, it is neither theoretically or practically viable for large scale conversion of non-hazardous solid waste to energy.

Operating experience to date has clearly borne this out. After hundreds of millions of dollars invested, there is today not a single plasma arc gasification system that is operating at a commercial scale on solid waste.

In contrast, conventional air fed gasifiers have been operating safely, efficiently and reliably on a commercial scale using a wide variety of solid waste and biomass fuels for more than three decades.

If the fuel gas generated by gasification must be cleaned in order to be used in internal combustion engines, reforming with oxygen is a much less expensive and more effective means of removing tars and reducing the probability that free radicals produced at plasma torch temperatures will cyclize during the gas cooling process.

Sometimes simpler is better.