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[greenyes] RE: Big Green: Recyclability

Hi, Brenda.
I was intrigued by your post and made an incorrect correlation between
plasma arc technology and those infamous "plastic to oils" and "chicken
poop to oil" schemes. But, I decided to do a little snooping and found
quite a bit of info and have attached a link to the City of Honolulu's
study in 2003 regarding plasma arc technology. It's an interesting
read but the bottom like is it's just another name for incineration.
Mercury emissions as well as the vaporization of heavy metals seem to be
acknowledged drawbacks.
I've copied the Grass Roots Recycling Network on your post as they
certainly have better information.
I'd still like to think that zero waste is the best alternative.
Bruce Maine
Professional Associate
Sustainable Design Services
HDR Architecture

-----Original Message-----
From: biggreen@no.address [mailto:biggreen@no.address] On
Sent: Tuesday, August 30, 2005 3:23 PM
To: Big Green
Subject: Big Green: Recyclability

Eight years ago I was at Georgia Tech. Dr. Lou Circeo, a construction
research scientist, had developed and patented an in-situ use for plasma
arc technology. He put his plasma torch and its generator into the back
of a pickup truck and demonstrated it here and there.

The torch could be extended into the bottom of a landfill, activated and
lifted at periodic intervals. The extreme heat reduced all waste, even
some hazardous waste, into its basic elements and the result was a pile
of obsidian. He explained the rock was good for chunking up and using
as base for roads. We all know that it takes a lot of years to grow a
good crop of rocks, but I have a sample piece of obsidian on my desk
that took Dr. Circeo less than two hours to produce from a 50-gallon
barrel of Georgia red clay.

At that time the cost for each torch was $1,000,000 because they were
not being mass produced. The US Navy had purchased one for trial use on
a ship. The waste was torched and an inert rock was thrown overboard.
Lyon, France had bought one for use on their hundreds-of-years-old

The concept was also valid for shoring the sides of a trench or tunnel.
The torch could also be used to enclose radioactive waste into a rock
"box" by burying it and torching the earth around it. The temperature
and range can be controlled.

Is anyone familiar with this technology? Circeo touted it as being the
answer to waste that is not yet recyclable.

Brenda M. Stokes
LEEDtm Accredited Professional
Heery-Mitchell - A Joint Venture
DeKalb County Schools
678 676-1516 V
678 676-1469 F
678 410-3658 M

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