Joseph Longo’s Plasma Converter

longo_main_385.jpg (24 KB)

From here

my favorite excerpts from the article:

How It Works: Startech´s trash converter uses superheated plasma-an electrically conductive mass of charged particles (ions and electrons) generated from ordinary air-to reduce garbage to its molecular components. First the trash is fed into an auger that shreds it into small pieces. Then the mulch is delivered into the plasma chamber, where the superheated plasma converts it into two by-products. One is a syngas composed mostly of hydrogen and carbon monoxide, which is fed into the adjacent Starcell system to be converted into fuel. The other is molten glass that can be sold for use in household tiles or road asphalt.

Called plasma gasification, it works a little like the big bang, only backward (you get nothing from something). Inside a sealed vessel made of stainless steel and filled with a stable gas—either pure nitrogen or, as in this case, ordinary air—a 650-volt current passing between two electrodes rips electrons from the air, converting the gas into plasma. Current flows continuously through this newly formed plasma, creating a field of extremely intense energy very much like lightning.

The radiant energy of the plasma arc is so powerful, it disintegrates trash into its constituent elements by tearing apart molecular bonds. The system is capable of breaking down pretty much anything except nuclear waste, the isotopes of which are indestructible. The only by-products are an obsidian-like glass used as a raw material for numerous applications, including bathroom tiles and high-strength asphalt, and a synthesis gas, or “syngas”—a mixture of primarily hydrogen and carbon monoxide that can be converted into a variety of marketable fuels, including ethanol, natural gas and hydrogen.

Perhaps the most amazing part of the process is that it’s self-sustaining. Just like your toaster, Startech’s Plasma Converter draws its power from the electrical grid to get started. The initial voltage is about equal to the zap from a police stun gun. But once the cycle is under way, the 2,200ËšF syngas is fed into a cooling system, generating steam that drives turbines to produce electricity. About two thirds of the power is siphoned off to run the converter; the rest can be used on-site for heating or electricity, or sold back to the utility grid. “Even a blackout would not stop the operation of the facility,” Longo says.

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    16 Responses to Joseph Longo’s Plasma Converter

    1. What is this supposed to be? And alpha revision of Mr. Fusion?


    2. And on top of that we will be generating obsidian waste… I guess at least it’s not radioactive…


    3. “Called plasma gasification, it works a little like the big bang, only backward (you get nothing from something)”
      Breaking the first law of thermodynamics are we?

      “The only by-products are an obsidian-like glass”
      Oh, wait; guess not.


    4. So what’s the problem in implementing it? Is it cost? Not efficient enough? There has to be some kind of catch or something.


    5. We’re getting one of these here in Ottawa, Canada! We already have a working demonstration plant. The company, Plasco, should be building the facility for free and then our taxes will pay for it’s operation.


    6. @Gunface
      It’s “tl;dr” not “tldnr;”. You use semicolons only if there’s a sentence on each side. Not at the end of a sentence.


    7. “The initial voltage is about equal to the zap from a police stun gun.”

      Please don’t copy-pasta stupid bullshit. This shit has been dumbed so down that it has become harmful to the unsuspecting reader.


    8. if your city had one of these, you could pay for your electric bill with your trash.

      and as for the “obsidian-like glass”; did you people not read? it can be “used as a raw material for numerous applications, including bathroom tiles and high-strength asphalt”

      and isn’t that better than destroying the environment?

      clean energy
      self sufficient
      gets rid of waste cleanly & efficiently

      A Startech machine that costs roughly $250 million could handle 2,000 tons of waste daily, approximately what a city of a million people amasses in that time span
      gets us off of petroleum


    9. This was originally posted yesterday, and it’s already come back as a post from the past? Can’t you set some post age criteria or something so they don’t come back this quickly?


      • I’m speechless. This can be a suerpb blog and very attractive too. Nice work! That’s now not actually a lot coming from an newbie publisher like me, however it’s all I may just say after diving into your posts. Nice grammar and vocabulary. Not like other blogs. You actually recognise what you?re talking about too. Such a lot that you made me want to discover more. Your blog has develop into a stepping stone for me, my friend.


    10. @Natedog
      Last I checked, obsidian/glass was not biodegradable. In theory, yes, it could be used for a whole bunch of other stuff, but in practice it is never that simple.

      They don’t talk about how much it might cost to “recycle” the waste. If it costs more to use, transport and/or process it, construction companies may still stick with the cheaper stuff, and we may end up with obsidian landfills instead….

      Yeah, I’ll believe all of this stuff they are feeding us when I see it. But as I said, it is still an infinitely better alternative to radioactive waste, and may actually get us off fossil fuels (though I’m not convinced of that either…)


    11. well no, it’s not biodegradable, but the real question is how close is it to obsidian is this stuff? Real obsidian has been sitting around since the dawn of time, and is perfectly safe. In fact, it’s apparently a better material for scalpels and edged medical instruments then metal is.


    12. it clearly says that the obsidian like material can be used in NUMEROUS applications like HIGH STRENGTH asphalt (which will help even more with our OIL addiction). other textiles and uses can surely be derived from this raw material as well.

      and surely an over abundance of this material is a much easier problem to deal with than a destroyed environment and holy wars.

      this machine puts out more energy than it takes to run it.

      and as for recycling this ‘waste’; it shouldnt be an issue as it will be getting rid of all the bullshit in our dumps.

      also, paying the electric bill with my household trash? EPIC


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