It has been discussed previously within this forum that plasma arc , plasma gasification systems, such as PEAT’s plasma thermal destruction and recovery (PTDR) waste to energy systems, have the ability to process a wider range of feedstocks that other thermal treatment technologies largely because the heat source is independent of the waste being processed. This means that plasma arc plasma gasification systems can process industrial hazardous waste feedstocks with very low calorific values (i.e. high moisture and in-organics). Further, plasma arc systems can co-process a variety of waste streams simultaneously.
With this said when a feedstock has a higher moisture and/or inorganic material content, the required plasma arc heating power from the plasma-arc increases. Simply put, waste streams with 30% moisture content vs. ones with 10% moisture require more plasma arc power (i.e. more electricity) to ensure a complete destruction of the waste feedstock.
For example, a representative composition for medical waste treatment (infectious red bag) in Asia, reflecting a moisture content of 18%. Based on modeling exercises and experience, the plasma arc power from the plasma-arc required in a PTDR-100 plasma gasification system is 80 kWe (based on 75% electrical-to-thermal efficiency). Part of this plasma arc power is required to vaporize the moisture required for medical waste treatment.
Now, a representative composition for medical waste treatment from the United States, reflecting a moisture content of 8.4% (the differences between US and Asia are related to how the medical waste is ultimately sorted)..