February 16, 2007
Company considers building disposal site to burn medical and industrial material at extreme temps
By Robert Annis
An out-of-state corporation is exploring the idea of building a waste-disposal facility on Indianapolis' Northwestside.
Illinois-based PEAT International wants to build a Plasma Thermal Destruction and Recovery waste facility, possibly in an industrial area
on 96th Street between Michigan and Zionsville roads, said Daniel
Ripes, corporate communications and business development manager. The
company is also looking at other locations, he said.
The PTDR facility would incinerate up to 22 tons of medical and
industrial waste a day, Ripes said. He said the technology has zero
emissions because temperatures are so hot within the reactor --
averaging 1,500 degrees Celsius -- that any harmful materials are
broken down to base elements.
In comparison, the temperature of lava from a volcano reaches 1,160 degrees Celsius.
The technology is fairly new, Ripes said, but the company has a similar
facility in Taiwan and has a research and development facility in
One of the end products of the process, he said, is a synthetic gas that would help power the facility.
"It's an alternative to natural gas generated from what society
discards," Ripes said, adding that the synthetic gas would have a
quarter of the heat properties of natural gas.
Other end products include a black, glassy slag and a metal material,
both of which Ripes claims could be repurposed for commercial uses.
None of the end products would be harmful to the environment, he said.
Ann Cutler, an assistant professor of chemistry at the University of
Indianapolis, thinks PTDR is an interesting way to dispose of
potentially harmful waste. She believes that the technology isn't used
more widely because of the initial cost of setting up a facility.
Cutler said residents should request more information about the facility.
"I'm a nervous mom," she said. "I'd want to see plans, but I don't see a massive issue if it was well run and monitored."
PEAT has not applied for a solid waste-processing permit, said Amy
Hartsock, Indiana Department of Environmental Management spokeswoman.
Ripes said if the company decides to apply for a permit, it would be
ithin the next four to six months. He believes the facility could be
built and operating within 16 to 24 months after he receives permit
February 28, 2007
The Plasma Thermal Destruction and Recovery (PTDR) waste facility
proposed by PEAT International does not use incineration, burning or
combustion, only gasification and vitrification, according to spokesman
Daniel Ripes. This information was incorrect in a story on Page A1.