achieving “zero waste” with plasma arc technology

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Achieving “Zero Waste” with Plasma Arc Technology Louis J. Circeo, Ph.D. Director, Plasma Applications Research Program Robert C. Martin, Jr. Michael E. Smith Electro-Optics, Environment and Materials Laboratory

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Louis J. Circeo, Ph.D. Director, Plasma Applications Research Program Robert C. Martin, Jr. Michael E. Smith. Achieving “Zero Waste” with Plasma Arc Technology. Electro-Optics, Environment and Materials Laboratory. Achieving “Zero Waste”. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Page 1: Achieving “Zero Waste” with Plasma Arc Technology

Achieving “Zero Waste”with

Plasma Arc TechnologyLouis J. Circeo, Ph.D.

Director, Plasma Applications Research Program

Robert C. Martin, Jr.

Michael E. Smith

Electro-Optics, Environment and Materials Laboratory

Page 2: Achieving “Zero Waste” with Plasma Arc Technology

Achieving “Zero Waste”

Plasma arc technology offers a unique opportunity to achieve the “zero waste” goal by providing the capability to eliminate the need for land disposal of many hazardous wastes and to recover energy from municipal solid wastes and other organic wastes while producing salable byproducts and eliminating requirements for landfilling of ash or other residual materials.

Page 3: Achieving “Zero Waste” with Plasma Arc Technology

What is PLASMA?

• “Fourth State” of matter• Ionized gas at high

temperature capable of conducting electrical current

• Lightning is an example from nature

Page 4: Achieving “Zero Waste” with Plasma Arc Technology

Non-transferred arc plasma torch

In a plasma arc torch, the plasma gas serves as a resistive heating element to convert electricity into

heat. Because it is a gas and cannot melt, temperatures in excess of 7000°C can be

produced.

Page 5: Achieving “Zero Waste” with Plasma Arc Technology

Plasma torch in operation

Page 6: Achieving “Zero Waste” with Plasma Arc Technology

Characteristics of Plasma Arc Technology

• Plasma acts as a resistive heating element that cannot melt and fail

• Produces temperatures of 4,000°C to over 7,000°C• Torch power levels from 100kW to 200 MW produce

high energy densities (up to 100 MW/m3)• Torch operates with most gases – not a combustion

process• Elimination of requirement for combustion air

– Reduces gas volume requiring treatment– Reduces potential for formation of complex organics (i.e.,

dioxins and furans)

Page 7: Achieving “Zero Waste” with Plasma Arc Technology

Plasma arc technology is ideally suited for waste treatment

• Hazardous & toxic compounds broken down to elemental constituents by high temperatures

• Organic materials– Pyrolyzed or volatilized– May be converted to fuel gases– Amenable to conventional off-gas treatment

• Residual materials (radionuclides, heavy metals, etc.) immobilized in a rock-like vitrified mass which is highly resistant to leaching

Page 8: Achieving “Zero Waste” with Plasma Arc Technology

Plasma arc technology remediation experience

• Heavy metals• Radioactive wastes• Industrial sludges• Municipal solid waste• Electric arc furnace dust• Liquid/solid organic

wastes

• PCB’s• Asbestos• Chemical wastes• Medical wastes• Plastics• Used tires

Page 9: Achieving “Zero Waste” with Plasma Arc Technology

Waste Processing Applicationsof

Plasma Arc Technology

Waste Destruction

Energy/Material Recovery

Page 10: Achieving “Zero Waste” with Plasma Arc Technology

Waste Destruction Applications

• Melting and vitrification of inorganic materials• Pyrolysis of organic materials

– Molten metal or glass bath provides heat transfer

– Heat causes breakdown of complex materials into elemental components

– Rapid quenching prevents complex compound formation (dioxins and furans)

– Water gas shift reaction to remove carbon• C + H2O → H2 + CO

– Gaseous products are fuel and simple acid gases

– Vitreous residue is resistant to leaching – suitable for aggregate

Page 11: Achieving “Zero Waste” with Plasma Arc Technology

U.S. asbestos stockpile disposal

Page 12: Achieving “Zero Waste” with Plasma Arc Technology

French Asbestos-Containing Materials (ACM) disposal system

Page 13: Achieving “Zero Waste” with Plasma Arc Technology

Incinerator ash disposal

Page 14: Achieving “Zero Waste” with Plasma Arc Technology

Navy shipboard system

Page 15: Achieving “Zero Waste” with Plasma Arc Technology

Navy Shipboard System – cont’d

Page 16: Achieving “Zero Waste” with Plasma Arc Technology

Recent Commercial Applications

• Mixed waste treatment facility-Richland, WA– Allied Technology Group (ATG)

• Medical waste vitrification facility-Honolulu, HI– Asia Pacific Environmental Technologies (APET)

• Incinerator ash vitrification facilities – Europe and Japan– Europlasma– IHI Inc./Westinghouse Plasma

Page 17: Achieving “Zero Waste” with Plasma Arc Technology

Recent DoD Plasma Furnace Applications

• Plasma Arc Shipboard Waste Destruction System (PAWDS)

• U.S. Navy Warships (NSWCCD)

• Plasma Arc Hazardous Waste Treatment System (PAHWTS)

• U.S. Naval Base, Norfolk, VA (Office of Naval Research, Environmentally Sound Ships Program)

• Plasma Ordnance Demilitarization System (PODS)

• Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane, IN (Defense Ammunition Center)

Page 18: Achieving “Zero Waste” with Plasma Arc Technology

Recent DoD Plasma Furnace Applications – cont’d

• Plasma Waste Treatment System (Pyrotechnics and Energetics)

• Hawthorne Army Ammunition Plant, NV (Armament Research and Development Engineering Center)

• Plasma Energy Pyrolysis System (PEPS) Demonstration Facility (Medical Waste and Blast Media), Lorton, VA

• U.S. Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratories (CERL)

• Mobile PEPS Demonstration System, U. S. Army CERL

Page 19: Achieving “Zero Waste” with Plasma Arc Technology

Mobile Plasma Energy Pyrolysis System (PEPS)

Page 20: Achieving “Zero Waste” with Plasma Arc Technology

GaTech Plasma Waste Processing & Demonstration System

• Developed by USACERL• Congressional funding• Cost ~$6 Million• Capacity 10 tons/day• Complete system

– Feed & Tapping

– Furnace

– Emissions control

– Wastewater treatment

– 1MW mobile generator

Page 21: Achieving “Zero Waste” with Plasma Arc Technology

Georgia Tech Plasma Waste Processing and Demonstration System

Page 22: Achieving “Zero Waste” with Plasma Arc Technology

Plasma Processing for Energy and Materials Recovery

• Research on waste destruction noted that pyrolysis produced useful fuel gases and inert residuals from organic wastes including MSW

• Relatively high plasma energy requirements (~600 kWh/ton) and capital cost of complex molten bath reactors limited economic feasibility of pyrolysis processes

• Use of gasification technology has made plasma a more economically attractive alternative

Page 23: Achieving “Zero Waste” with Plasma Arc Technology

Plasma Pyrolysis of MSW

PLASMA

GASIFIERMSW

1 Ton – 9.39 Mbtu33% Moisture

SteamNegligible

Electricity0.56 MWHr – 1.90 MBtu

Product Gas30,300 SCF

Heating Value = 8.16 MBTU

Losses1.77 M

Btu

Gas Heat Energy1.05 MBtu

Based on data from Resorption Canada, Ltd. 1995(Summarized and converted to English units)

Gas Heating Value OutputElectricity Input = 4.30

Page 24: Achieving “Zero Waste” with Plasma Arc Technology

Hitachi Metals Plasma MSW System – Japan

Plasma Torch

Metal

Cokeand

Limestone

Slag

Excess Heat Utilization & Power

Generation

Page 25: Achieving “Zero Waste” with Plasma Arc Technology

Hitachi Metals200 TPD MSW Plant - Utashinai Japan

Page 26: Achieving “Zero Waste” with Plasma Arc Technology

Hitachi MetalsUtashinai, Japan Plant

Commercial 200 ton/day plasma processing system• Designed for Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) and

Automobile Shredder Residue (ASR)– Represents MSW from approximately 30,000 US households

• Plant has two plasma reactors– Four 300 kW torches (Westinghouse Plasma Corp.) per reactor– Each reactor will process ~4 tons/hr

• Generates 7.9 MW of electricity (4.3 MW to grid)– Could supply 4,000 US households with electricity (up to 15%

of households supplying waste to the system)

• Fully operational in April 2003

Page 27: Achieving “Zero Waste” with Plasma Arc Technology

Vitrified MSW residue

Page 28: Achieving “Zero Waste” with Plasma Arc Technology

Leachability of Vitrified MSW Residue (TCLP)

MetalPermissible

concentration (mg/l)Measured

Concentration (mg/l)

Arsenic 5.0 <0.1

Barium 100.0 <0.5

Cadmium 1.0 <0.02

Chromium 5.0 <0.2

Lead 5.0 <0.2

Mercury 0.2 <0.01

Selenium 1.0 <0.1

Silver 5.0 <0.5

Page 29: Achieving “Zero Waste” with Plasma Arc Technology

MSW Solid Byproduct UsesMolten Stream

Processing(Product)

Air Cooling(Gravel)

Water Cooling(Sand)

Water Cooling(Metal Nodules)

Air Blown(“Rock Wool”)

Salable Product Uses

Coarse Aggregate (roads, concrete, asphalt)

Fine Aggregate (concrete, asphalt, concrete products)

Recyclable metals

Insulation, sound proofing, agriculture

Page 30: Achieving “Zero Waste” with Plasma Arc Technology

PLASMA PROCESSING OF MSW AT COAL-FIRED POWER PLANTS

Concept

• Collocate MSW plasma processing plants (in modules of 1,000 TPD) with existing operational coal-fired power plants.

• The amount of coal supplied to a plant will be reduced, proportionate to the thermal output of the MSW plant.

• The hot gaseous emissions from the plasma plant afterburner system will be fed directly into the coal plant combustion chamber to supplement the combusted coal gases.

• The combined plasma and coal gaseous emissions would produce steam and power equal to the normal coal plant generating capacity.

• MSW would replace large volumes of coal for power generation in a very efficient, cost-effective and environmentally cleaner operation.

Page 31: Achieving “Zero Waste” with Plasma Arc Technology

PLASMA PROCESSING OF MSW AT COAL-FIRED POWER PLANTS

Reduced Capital Costs of MSW Plant(1)

• Use existing power plant facilities– Steam generation system– Off gas treatment system– Electrical generating system

• Use existing transportation network• Build on power plant land, if feasible

(1) Geoplasma, LLC estimated costs

Page 32: Achieving “Zero Waste” with Plasma Arc Technology

PLASMA PROCESSING OF MSW AT COAL-FIRED POWER PLANTS

Summary

By 2020, if all MSW was processed by plasma at coal-fired power plants (1 million TPD), MSW could:

• Supply about 5% of U.S. electricity needs• Replace about 140 million TPY of coal• Eliminate about 15 million TPY of coal ash going to landfills• Provide significantly cleaner coal plant air emissions• Support the goals of the Clear Skies Act

Page 33: Achieving “Zero Waste” with Plasma Arc Technology

YEAR 2020SELECTED RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES

Source Quads (1015 BTU)

Plasma Processed MSW(1) 0.90Geothermal(2) 0.47Landfill Gas(2) 0.12Solar(2) 0.09Wind(2) 0.04_____________________

(1) Assumes 1 million TPD(2) Extrapolated from 1999 statistics

Page 34: Achieving “Zero Waste” with Plasma Arc Technology

Capital Costs: Incineration vs Plasma Gasification Facilities

0

100

200

300

0 1000 2000 3000

Capacity (tons/day)

Co

st (

$mill

ion

s)

Incineration Only

Incineration WTE

Plasma Stand Alone WTE

Plasma Integrated WTE(Note: Plasma Costs are Geoplasma

LLC Estimates)

Page 35: Achieving “Zero Waste” with Plasma Arc Technology

Potential DoD Applications

• Processing of hazardous wastes – Major installations– Industrial activities (depots, Air Force Plants)

• “Bare Base” and “Zero Footprint” Operations– Process solid and sanitary wastes– Eliminate landfill or shipping of residuals– Recovery of energy as steam or hot water

Page 36: Achieving “Zero Waste” with Plasma Arc Technology

Barriers to implementation of Plasma Arc Technology

• Successful commercial applications in US

• Regulatory acceptance and permitting

• Public acceptance

Page 37: Achieving “Zero Waste” with Plasma Arc Technology

For More Information:

• Contact:– Lou Circeo: [email protected]

(404-894-2070)– Bob Martin: [email protected]

(404-894-8446)– Mike Smith: [email protected]– (404-894-0281)

Georgia Tech Research InstituteEOEML/SHETD/ETB430 Tenth Street NW

Atlanta, GA 30332-0837