Plastic waste to energy through plasma gasification


Rapid Industrialization and urbanization have lead to increase in solid waste and depletion of natural energy resources. The solid waste “problem” is solution to our energy needs. Solid waste management needs to adopt some strategies: Material recycling. ,Elimination of land filling disposal. Resource recovery through waste processing. Biological and thermal process result in recover of compost and energy.

Global challenges and opportunity

  • Global generation of solid waste will double by 2025
  • Solid waste generated by 377 million people living in urban India is 300 million tones per year.
  • The high heating value of SW indicates the need of waste to energy plants. Plasma gasification is the unique opportunity to mitigate the above challenges

Methods of removal of waste

  • Land-filling
  • Incineration
  • Pyrolysis
  • Gasification
  • Plasma Gasification

Origin of plasma

Plasma is a fourth state of matter.Discovered by chemist  Irving Langmuir in the 1920. Heating a gas at very high temperature lead to ionization of atom and turns in to plasma. Plasma technology used by NASA in 1960 and become popular.

Plasma gasification

Plasma gasification is an extreme thermal process using plasma which converts organic matter into a syngas (synthesis gas) which is primarily made up of hydrogen and carbon mono oxide.plasma consist high electrical conductivity, more independently acting species, high velocity  particle and particles interact at long range through electric or magnetic  forces. — man made plasma produced by plasma torches using electricity as a heating source and air as ionized gas . — the plasma torches create the flow of plasma by using a 650V DC or AC and generate the temperature of about 2000-20,000 F


Small plasma torches typically use an inert gas such as argon  where larger torches require nitrogen. A strong electric current under high voltage passes between the two electrodes as an electric arc .  Pressurized inert gas is ionized passing through the plasma created by the arc. The torch’s temperature ranges from 2,000 to 14,000 °C (3,600 to 25,200 °F). The temperature of the plasma reaction determines the structure of the plasma and forming gas.

Plasma torch

A plasma torch  powered by an electric arc is used to ionize gas and catalyze organic matter into syngas with slagremaining as a byproduct

Plasma Gasifier

Gasifire is the central component of the plasma gasification process. The gasifire  equiped with its component plasma torches, air or oxygen as ionized gas and feed stock. The plasma arc converts organic waste into synthesis gas and inorganic material into vitrified slag.


The major products are synthesis gas and vitrified slag. Syngas ( carbon and has a high temperature cooled down through heat recovery units. Syngas as a fuel for electricity generation. Rock like vitrified slag as a construction aggregate. Other products are hydrochloric acid hydrogen sulfide obtained from syngas cleaning.

Plasma Gasification: Global Scenario

>100: Commercial plasma plants in operation (4 are WTE plants)

> 6: Demonstration plasma plants completed or under construction

> 15: Companies whose primary business is plasma technology

> 30: Countries involved in plasma gasification projects


Clean destruction of hazardous waste . Preventing hazardous waste from reaching landfills . Processing of organic waste into  syngas for electric power and thermal energy. Safe means to destroy both medical and many hazardous wastes .

Military Use

The US Navy is employing Plasma Arc Waste Destruction System (PAWDS) on its latest generation Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier

7 Comments to “Plastic waste to energy through plasma gasification”

  1. I went through this article and found it very helpful , it gives in depth knowledge about the waste management system.

  2. such a useful technology, surely it shape the future as well make environment pollution free for next generation.

  3. Plastic waste to energy through plasma gasification such a great technology . Osm new technology in mechanical engineering..

  4. A great technology which can change plastic waste into energy

  5. Build your world – mechanical engineers get the best of both worlds. A career in mechanical engineering allows you to build a better future for you, and for the world. This explains why 89% of engineers have high levels of job satisfaction, and would choose the same career path again.

  6. Very use full technology and smart work so use technology

  7. Theoritically it is appearing very lucrative. practically with commercial viability , with facts and figures, where, which,what is the data,how much vitirous residue . Where are the commercial plants operating.What is the Material balance ete etc . Such answers I am unable to get with ,lot more of search on net.My self involved in this great interesting, technology, but could not lay hands so far. Some plant working in Japan , Some one says in USA . In Carrabian island Babados. etc etc .If any one can help , It
    will be very novel& kind gesture.
    With Respectful Regards to all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *