Field Waste to Energy Conversion via Plasma Processing

Period of Performance: 01/23/2009 - 07/23/2009


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Innovative Energy Solution
9800 Connecticut Dr
Crownpoint, IN 46410
Principal Investigator


Conventional plasma waste reforming technology uses high temperature reactive plasma to breakdown wastes into combustible gas and solid waste. Extremely high plasma temperatures often lead to high energy consumption resulting low efficiency and formation of unwanted byproducts, such as nitrogen oxides and dioxins. In many cases using plasma arc/torch could significantly increase waste disposal costs without offering essential environmental advantages. Unlike previous plasma systems that border either on the thermal or non-thermal stages, this new system hybridizes both plasma types to deliver large power at high pressure with high selectivity. The proposed solution is based on using a compact intermediate power plasma source operating on electrical discharge possessing partially non-thermal characteristics. A large portion of the discharge energy is utilized to generate high energy electrons, excited species, and chemically active radicals to effectively stimulate partial oxidation and reformation processes converting the solid waste to a gaseous reformate for power generation. As a result, this process can yield high gas volume at unsurpassed efficiencies as the plasma provides only part of the energy required for reformation of the solid fuel.