There are several Key areas for technology application. Our company is focused on the following markets.
- Commercial, Industrial, Municipal & Government-Commercial
Industrial Materials Separation
- Many applications in the industrial waste remediation and materials separation.
- Commercial, Industrial, Municipal, Electric Utility & Government
History of Waste Disposal
The first US incinerator was built in 1885 on Governors Island in New York. By the mid-20th Century, hundreds of incinerators were in operation in the United States but until the 1960s little was understood about the environmental impact, the water discharges and air emissions from these incinerators. When the Clean Air Act (CAA) was enacted in 1970, existing incineration facilities became subject to new standards that banned the uncontrolled burning of municipal solid waste (MSW) and placed restrictions on particulate emissions. The facilities that did not install the technology needed to meet the CAA requirements, were closed.
Combustion of MSW grew in the 1980s, with more than 15 percent of all U.S. MSW being combusted by the early 1990s. The majority of the non-hazardous waste incinerators were recovering energy by this time and had installed pollution controlling equipment. With the newly recognized threats posed by mercury and dioxin emissions, the EPA enacted the Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) regulations in the 1990s. As a result, most existing facilities had to be retrofitted with air pollution control systems or be shut down.
Currently, there are three types of technologies for the combustion of MSW, mass burn facilities, modular systems and refuse derived fuel systems. Our technology will become the forth type.
- Mass Burn Facilities
– Mass burn facilities are by far the most common types of combustion facilities in the United States. The waste used to fuel the mass burn facility may or may not be sorted before it enters the combustion chamber. Many advanced municipalities separate the waste on the front end to pull off as many recyclable products as possible. Mass burn units are designed to burn MSW in a single combustion chamber under conditions of excess air. In combustion systems, excess air must be used to promote mixing and turbulence to ensure that air can reach all parts of the waste. This is necessary because of the inconsistent nature of solid waste. Most mass-burn facilities burn MSW on a sloping, moving grate that is vibrated or otherwise moved to agitate the waste and mix it with air.
- Modular Systems
– Modular Systems are designed to burn unprocessed, mixed MSW. They differ from mass burn facilities in that they are much smaller and are portable. They can be moved from site to site.
- Refuse Derived Fuel Systems
– These facilities use mechanical methods to shred incoming MSW, separate out non-combustible materials, and produce a combustible mixture suitable as a fuel in a dedicated furnace or as a supplemental fuel in a conventional boiler system.
- Plasma – Skid Based Systems
– These novel state of the art facilities use micro-portable skid based devises that can be scaled as needed. There is absolutely no burning involved. Due to the patented Thermal Decomposition plasma process, the waste is safely transformed back to it’s raw materials. Our facilities uses plasma, magnetic and mechanical methods to process incoming MSW, as a fuel or as a supplemental fuel in energy production, 99% emissions free.
Current & Future Economics
Currently, the upfront capital needed to build an MSW combustion plant can be a significant hurdle when building a new facility. A new plant typically requires at least $100-500 million upfront to finance the construction. The economic benefits of MSW combustion may take several years to be fully realized. Long-term contracts are often developed between the facility and municipality to secure a guaranteed waste stream. MSW Combustion facilities typically collect a tipping fee from the independent contractors that drop the waste off on a daily basis. The facilities also receive income from utilities after the electricity generated from the waste is sold to the grid. A possible third stream of revenue for the facilities comes from the sale of usable by-products.
In the future, the upfront capital needed to build a plasma MSW facility can be significantly less burdensome considering that a 5MW-10MW processing plant can cost approximately 20-40 million USD. Further, the operating costs for these systems are relatively inexpensive and systems can be scaled on an as needed basis, when capacity is needed. The economic benefit of a Plasma system is that it may take significantly less time to fully realize the investment. Depending, on how contracts are structured, we anticipate the payback cycle to be between 5-10 years. Our facilities receive income from byproducts in addition to income from power generation.