Plasma-Arc Gasification and Wastewater Other Residuals

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Last week, we discussed and demonstrated how plasma-arc gasification nearly eliminates air emissions when the syngas is not utilized, this entry looks to address wastewater and other residuals generated.

In addition to the liquids and residual generated from plasma-arc gasification processes, cooling the syngas with the plasma-arc gasification process may also results in the generation of liquids that require management.

These water streams are typically high in dissolved solids and gases with commonly-found ionic species (i.e. sulfide, fluoride, chloride, etc.).

With regards to by-products generated within the gas cleaning process (i.e. baghouse catches or solids removed recovered from the scrubber water), plasma-arc gasification processes have an advantage over some, but not all, other thermal processes because it is feasible to re-inject the by-products collected/generated by the air pollution control system into the plasma-arc gasification reactor as a co-feed with the input waste and vitrify it. In order to accomplish this, the waste feeding, the plasma-arc gasification reactor and the downstream air pollution control system must be sized and designed accordingly.

Whether or not these aforementioned by-products are recycled back into the plasma-arc gasification reactor, many plasma-arc gasification companies have marketed the technology as generating ‘zero waste.’ This is a slippery slope, as potential clients/environmentalists/regulators may view this statement as an exaggeration and ultimately become less interested in the technology. This is particularly unfortunate because many plasma-arc gasification process concepts do/will generate less secondary wastes than some competitive approaches and much of these residues are in a stable inert, non-hazardous form, which is an important advantage.

Whether or not a wastewater treatment system is required within the plasma-arc gasification process installation will largely depend on site-specific information and the discharge limits (total quantity and concentration of ionic species) to the local sewage system. For example, the PTDR waste-to-energy system located in California did not require a wastewater treatment system.

One Response to “Plasma-Arc Gasification and Wastewater Other Residuals”

  1. Plasma Arc Gasification and Its Environmental Footprint | Waste To Energy Blog Says:

    [...] Plasma Arc Gasification and Wastewater Other Residuals [...]

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