During three decades starting in 1980's, many successful experiments, designs and plants were developed involving the gasification and/or vitrification of municipal solid waste (MSW), auto shredder residue (ASR), bio-mass and other industrial liquid and solid wastes through a plasma gasification reactor (PGR).
The gasification test material feed could range from low Btu MSW (1600 kcal/kg) to high Btu ASR (4500 kcal/kg).
The PGR converts the feed primarily into carbon monoxide, CO and hydrogen, H2.
The inorganic components of the feed get converted to molten slag which are removed as a vitrified by-product.
The slag passes the EPA-mandated Toxicity Characteristic Leachate Procedure (TCLP) requirements. The plasma torch power for this application ranges from 100 kW to 250 kW per ton/hr of MSW/ASR and higher for inorganic waste treatment/vitrification.
Emissions are very much reduced and dioxins are measured at levels approximately 100 times lower than from an incineration plant ( e.g., <0.01 ng/nm3 measured in stack gas).
In recent years, ATC has designed PGRs for waste treatment up to 720 tpd.