Alter NRG Plasma Gasification is the next generation of waste-to-energy solutions.
Alter NRG Plasma Gasifier will convert a wide variety of waste streams into a clean syngas which can be further altered to create other forms of energy.
A plasma gasifier is an oxygen starved vessel where various feedstocks can be gasified using the very high temperatures achievable with plasma. Rather than being combusted, the heat breaks the feedstock down into elements like hydrogen and simple compounds like carbon monoxide and water. The gas that is created is called synthesis gas or “syngas”.
The syngas created in the gasifier, which contains dust (particulates) and other undesirable elements like mercury, undergoes a clean-up process to make it suitable for conversion into other forms of energy including power, heat and liquid fuels. The syngas clean-up process is tailored to meet the requirements of each project. In most cases, especially where municipal solid waste (MSW) is the feedstock, the syngas clean-up will include particulate removal, sulphur removal and mercury/heavy metals removal.
Plasma gasification differs from non-plasma gasification in one key area – temperature. Non plasma gasifiers typically operate between 800 and 900 °C. The temperatures inside Alter NRG’s gasifier reach over 3000 °C that utilizes its Westinghouse Plasma Torches. The syngas exits the gasifier at 950 °C. The slag flows out of the gasifier at 1650 °C. The higher temperatures inside our plasma gasifier result in the complete destruction of tars, something that is not achievable with non-plasma technologies. It is very difficult to remove tars downstream of the gasifier and therefore the utility of the syngas produced by non-plasma gasifiers is very limited. It can be burned immediately but, to the best of our knowledge, non-plasma waste derived syngas has not been conditioned for use at large scale for use in gas turbines, reciprocating engines or for conversion into liquid fuels.
In summary, Alter NRG gasifier enables the conversion of difficult feedstocks like MSW into a clean syngas that is suitable for use in advanced conversion technologies such as high efficiency gas turbines or next generation liquid fuels technologies. In the near future, we expect to power fuel cells with syngas from our gasifier.