Plasma Torch Technology


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Plasma Torch Technology

  1. 1. STUDY OF PLASMA TORCH TECHNOLOGY FOR USE IN MUNCIPAL AND INDUSTRIAL WASTE DISPOSAL IN CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA 53:159 “Air Pollution Control Engineering” Professor Keri Hornbuckle BY: Johnathan Larsen Jennifer Pratt & RaShelle Russell
  2. 2. Presentation Agenda <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>Background </li></ul><ul><li>The treatment technology </li></ul><ul><li>Significance </li></ul><ul><li>Research </li></ul><ul><li>Schematic </li></ul><ul><li>Webpage Overview </li></ul>
  3. 3. Introduction <ul><li>Many municipal areas are need of new strategies to deal with their solid waste. The cities of Cedar Rapids and Marion, IA have been dealing with this issue, and have considered incineration processes as a way to minimize their solid waste. There has been opposition to a new landfill, and a group in the Marion area proposed a process called PLASMA TORCH TECHNOLOGY. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Issues to address: <ul><li>Is plasma torch a wise investment for treating MSW? </li></ul><ul><li>Can plasma torch be used to melt existing landfills by 90% as technology experts claim? </li></ul><ul><li>What type of financial investment are we talking about? </li></ul><ul><li>What types of environmental permits are required? </li></ul><ul><li>What kind of pollution does the technology emit? </li></ul><ul><li>How is the waste air treated? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the benefits and disadvantages? </li></ul>
  5. 5. Background <ul><li>U S Annually Produces 230 Million Tons of MSW </li></ul><ul><ul><li>30% is Recycled </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>14% is Incinerated </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>56%, or About 130 Million Tons, is sent to a landfill </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Energy Act of 2005 Recognizes MSW as a Renewable Energy Source </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Energy in U. S. Solid Waste is Nearly 10 Times That Available From Wind Power </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Background: Landfilling <ul><li>Source: </li></ul><ul><li>Landfilling is a typical waste disposal method used in the U.S. today. </li></ul><ul><li>Produces greenhouse gases and leaves behind toxic liquids that can escape </li></ul><ul><li>Landfill gas (mostly methane) burned without air pollution control for 20 years after closure </li></ul>Source:
  7. 7. Background: Thermal methods of solid waste disposal <ul><li>Methods include incineration, gasification, and pyrolysis. </li></ul><ul><li>Pyrolysis is form of gasification carried out in the complete absence of oxygen. </li></ul><ul><li>There are 3 main stages in the process: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>► waste breakdown </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>► gas cleaning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>► conversion to power </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Background: Incineration <ul><li>Emits gas and small particles from smoke stack </li></ul><ul><li>Usually have modern pollution control technology: scrubbers, lime injection, bag filtration </li></ul><ul><li>Produces heat, bottom ash, and fly ash  Ash must be landfilled </li></ul>Source:
  9. 9. What is a Plasma Torch? <ul><li>Ionized gas that conducts electricity </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;the fourth state of matter“ </li></ul><ul><li>NASA developed plasma heating technology in 1960's </li></ul><ul><li>Torch converts energy from electrical to thermal </li></ul><ul><li>Controlled plasma &quot;fields&quot; generated from steady gas flow (N2, O2, or air) between electrodes </li></ul><ul><li>Ionized gas creates intensely hot &quot;plume“ </li></ul><ul><li>Average temperature around 6,000 Celsius </li></ul>
  10. 10. PLASMA TORCH TECHNOLOGY <ul><li>Plasma created using almost any type of gas heated to extreme temps </li></ul><ul><li>Breaks down waste on a molecular level leaving little behind </li></ul><ul><li>About double the price of traditional methods of landfilling and incineration </li></ul><ul><li>Produces energy at a smaller ratio to used energy than a traditional waste to energy incinerator facility </li></ul><ul><li>Produces a very stable glassy rock that is non leachable, non toxic. Great for use as gravel  another way that plasma torch generates income </li></ul>
  11. 11. Plasma Torch Technology <ul><li>Reduces gas volume requiring treatment </li></ul><ul><li>All known contaminants effectively treated or remediated </li></ul>
  12. 12. SCHEMATIC
  13. 13. In-situ Plasma Reactor <ul><li>Heat in reactor pulls apart the organic molecular structure of the waste to create a simpler gaseous structure: CO, H 2 , and CO 2 </li></ul><ul><li>- the inorganic waste is vitrified (melted) </li></ul><ul><li>- the organic and hydrocarbon waste is gasified </li></ul><ul><li>Advantages – better heat transfer </li></ul><ul><li>Disadvantages – potential corrosive effect on the torch itself </li></ul>
  14. 14. Control Devices Used to Create Clean Syn-Gas
  15. 15. Syngas (Product) Gas Composition
  16. 16. Gas Cleanup <ul><li>85% of the particulates are removed in a cyclone </li></ul><ul><li>Recovered particulate and metals are then injected into the molten glass </li></ul><ul><li>The vitrified glass material passes EPA leachability tests. Scrubber  HCL scrubbed form dilute HCL water </li></ul><ul><li>Liquid  series of nano filter membranes remove PM/metal </li></ul><ul><li>The water in the gas is condensed out and is used to provide clean makeup water for the rest of the plant. </li></ul><ul><li>H 2 S  scrubbed out for fertilizer or converted to sodium bisulfite. </li></ul><ul><li>Finally Gas Compressor and Turbine </li></ul>
  17. 17. Byproduct Uses Process of Molten Stream Air Cooling (Gravel) Water Cooling (Sand) Water Cooling (Metal Nodules) Air Blown (Rock Wool) Uses For Product Coarse Aggregate-roads, concrete, asphalt Fine Aggregate-concrete, asphalt, concrete products Recyclable metals Insulation, sound proofing, agriculture
  18. 18. One More Use for Plasma Torch Remediation of already landfilled waste
  19. 19. Where is Plasma Torch Used
  20. 20. NSPS Compliance Source: USEPA NSPS: 40:CFR 60.52b <.5 5 Silver <.1 1 Selenium <.01 .2 Mercury <.2 5 Lead <.2 5 Chromium <.02 1 Cadmium <.5 100 Barium <.1 5 Arsenic Concentration Measured in Slag (mg/L) Permissible Concentration (mg/L) Metal
  21. 21. How Plasma Technology Differs from currently used technologies: <ul><li>Oakdale campus uses batch process- pathological waste incinerator </li></ul><ul><li>Fueled by Natural Gas </li></ul><ul><li>600-800 lb capacity </li></ul><ul><li>Primary pollutant emitted is particulate </li></ul><ul><li>Uses afterburner for air pollution control </li></ul>
  22. 22. Oakdale Incinerator Unit for Radioactive solid waste
  23. 23. Oakdale Incinerator Unit for Radioactive solid waste
  24. 24. <ul><li>Benefits: </li></ul><ul><li>Waste volume reduction </li></ul><ul><li>Cost Savings due to vol reduction </li></ul><ul><li>Disadvantages: </li></ul><ul><li>Maintenance is very demanding, particularly because the system is not used constantly. </li></ul>Oakdale Incinerator: System Controls
  25. 25. Permit Requirements: <ul><li>Construction Permit from IDNR </li></ul><ul><li>IAC-567-23.4(12) </li></ul><ul><li>Max capacity = 130 lbs/hour </li></ul><ul><li>License for system </li></ul>
  26. 26. Comparison of Plasma and Incineration Gas for electricity, Slag for resale Heat for electricity Commercial by-products None Bottom Ash-Leachable/Fly Ash- Toxic Landfill Requirements Clean by-product gas Can exceed standards Air Emissions Easily Maintained Requires secondary fuel, may have cold spots Temperature Control No effect Increases Harmful emissions Increase in Moisture Content N/A Require 100-300 ft Integral Smoke Stack 9:1 3:1 Weight Reduction 250:1 5:1 Volume Reduction Plasma Torch Incineration Feature
  27. 27. Considering Air Pollution Regulations Source: USEPA NSPS: 40:CFR 60.52b <12 100 ppmv CO 2 20 ppmv SO 2 Gas 83 150 ppmv NOx Gas 7 25 ppmv HCL Gas 6.8 24 Mg/dscm Particulates .01 .13 Ng/dscm Dioxins/Furans Measured Output from Utashinai,Japan U.S. EPA Limits Units Emission Parameter
  28. 28. Significance: Cost Comparison <ul><li>Expensive to operate plasma torch at 3000 °C </li></ul><ul><li>If government helped fund could be a viable option </li></ul><ul><li>If energy production desired, more money needed to store energy produced </li></ul><ul><li>Cost depends on size of facility if energy were to be sold </li></ul><ul><li>No comparisons for future, too new </li></ul><ul><li>Would require a 30-40 percent higher equity contribution or government support </li></ul>
  29. 29. Cost Continued <ul><li>Plasma and WTE make money 3 ways: </li></ul><ul><li>Electricity, tipping fees, and sale of other outputs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Electricity depends on rate </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Tipping fees depend on magnitude, operation cost, etc.. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Currently 35 $ per ton most likely increase to 75 $ per ton </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sale of ash, slag usually between 0-25 $ per ton </li></ul>
  30. 30. Research <ul><li>• How much energy can be produced? </li></ul><ul><li>• What waste is at the landfill? </li></ul><ul><li>• Complete combustion of samples using a bomb calorimeter with pressurized oxygen </li></ul><ul><li>• Combustion reaction </li></ul>
  31. 31. Experimental Procedure <ul><li>Samples weighed and placed in bomb calorimeter </li></ul><ul><li>Mass water placed in the calorimeter surrounding the “bomb” </li></ul><ul><li>Bomb secured tightly and pressurized to 20 atm of oxygen inside bomb </li></ul><ul><li>Bomb placed in calorimeter and lid secured and stirring began </li></ul>
  32. 32. Experimental Procedure Continued <ul><li>The initial temperature of water taken and bomb ignited </li></ul><ul><li>The highest change in water temperature taken </li></ul><ul><li>Done for various samples known to be in the landfill </li></ul><ul><li>C 6 H 10 O 5 + 6O 2 -> 6CO 2 + 5H 2 O </li></ul>
  33. 33. Materials Analyzed <ul><li>Food, wood, plastics and paper done with bomb calorimeter </li></ul><ul><li>62 % of landfill composition </li></ul>
  34. 34. Data collected <ul><li>Change in water temperature determines how much energy was added to the water from combustion </li></ul><ul><li>Q=m C p Δ T </li></ul><ul><li>C p = 4186 J / (kg °C) </li></ul><ul><li>Represents all of energy release from combustion </li></ul>5617.47 Paper 21740.3 Wood 14511.7 Plastic 5187.33 Food Q ( Btu/ lb ) Sample
  35. 35. Data Analysis <ul><li>The majority of energy comes from the food, wood, plastic and paper </li></ul><ul><li>Using the mass fraction of components in landfill and average of heat of combustion the energy per mass can be found for combusting the municipal waste </li></ul>
  36. 36. Conclusions <ul><li>Significant energy contained in landfill could be utilized to produce power </li></ul><ul><li>Plasma technology is better for the environment however it costs more </li></ul><ul><li>Both plasma technology and waste to energy cost more than land filling but are better for environment </li></ul><ul><li>Either plasma torch tech or waste to energy facility will lower the waste space at the landfill </li></ul><ul><li>Plasma torch technology is cleaner for the environment </li></ul><ul><li>Economic comparison between plasma technology and waste to energy is difficult due to differences in the processes </li></ul><ul><li>More energy is recovered in the plasma torch technology than the waste to energy process </li></ul>
  37. 37. FOR MORE INFORMATION: <ul><li>Project website is found at: </li></ul>
  38. 38. References <ul><li>Beck, R.W. (2003). City of Honolulu Review of Plasma Arc Gasification and Vitrification Technology for Waste Disposal. Retrieved February 17, 2006 from, </li></ul><ul><li>Franzman, D. (2005). Alternative in Landfill Battle. Retrieved February 17, 2006 from, </li></ul><ul><li>Iowa DNR Waste Management. Retrieved from </li></ul><ul><li>Sioux City Journal. (2005). Legislators, Regulators Discuss Plasma Torch Technology. Retrieved February 17, 2006 from, 2005/11/25/news/iowa/392b9c94861de492862570c400138f7b.prt </li></ul><ul><li>Yando, A. (n.d.) Plasma Energy Pyrolysis System. Retrieved February 17, 2006 from </li></ul>
  39. 39. QUESTIONS????