As reported by the U.S.-based Waste Business Journal (http://www.wastebusinessjournal.com/), S4 Energy Solutions (S4), a joint venture by Waste Management Inc. (WM), and InEnTec announced on March 3, 2010 plans to develop a plasma gasification facility at WM’s Columbia Ridge Landfill in Arlington, Oregon.
The planned facility will be a comprehensive and integrated S4 designed solution that will convert municipal solid waste into clean fuels and renewable energy.
Construction is expected to begin in the early summer, with startup scheduled by the end of the year. The project is expected to create over 40 jobs.
“Our goal is to extract as much value as possible from waste and this project will help us recover valuable resources to generate clean fuels, renewable energy and other beneficial products,” says Dean Kattler, area vice president for WM Pacific Northwest.
With the S4 system, waste materials are prepared and fed into a first phase gasification chamber that operates at temperatures of approximately 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit.
After the first phase, the waste materials flow into a second closed chamber where they are superheated to temperatures between 10,000 and 20,000 degrees Fahrenheit using an electricity-conducting gas called plasma.
The intense heat of the second stage plasma gasifier rearranges the molecular structure of the waste, transforming organic (carbon-based) materials into an ultra-clean, synthesis gas (syngas). The clean syngas may then be converted into transportation fuels such as ethanol and diesel, or industrial products like hydrogen and methanol.
The syngas could also be used as a substitute for natural gas for heating or electricity generation
The new plasma gasification facility will complement the landfill site’s other renewable energy production. WM began generating renewable electricity at the site in January 2010 with the startup of a new landfill gas-to-energy (LFGTE) facility of waste streams with InEnTec’s PEM technology.