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[GreenYes] Re: Biosolids. Fla Plasma Redux base elements and gas

Right. A file of every story written over the years on this subject
by gullible reporters would probably fill a big book....

At 07:43 PM 8/19/2006 -0400, LWheeler45@no.address wrote:

>Plant seeks to make landfills obsolete producing power from trash
>FORT PIERCE, Fla. -- Welcome to the future, where trash is fuel and
>landfills are obsolete.
>While trash to power isn't a new idea, Geoplasma, a sister company
>of Atlanta-based Jacoby Development Inc., has a grand plan to take
>it into the science fiction realm and do away with dumps by
>vaporizing garbage into synthetic gas and steam to create electricity.
>The company plans to build a $425 million plasma arc gasification
>facility here in St. Lucie County, the first of its kind in the
>nation and the largest in the world. The facility should be up in
>about two years.
>It will generate heat hotter than the sun's surface and will gasify
>and melt 3,000 tons of garbage a day by creating an arc between two
>electrodes and using high pressure air to form plasma. It's a
>process similar to how lightning is formed in nature.
>St. Lucie County officials estimate their entire landfill - 4.3
>million tons of trash - will be gone in 18 years.
>No byproduct will go unused, according to Geoplasma. The plant will
>produce enough synthetic gas - a substitute for natural gas - to
>power up to 43,000 homes annually, and to run the facility free from
>outside electricity.
>Molten material much like lava created from melted organic matter -
>up to 600 tons a day - will be hardened into rock form, or slag, and
>sold for use in road and construction projects. It will also gasify
>sludge from the county's wastewater plant, and steam will be sold to
>a neighboring Tropicana Products Inc. facility to power the juice
>plant's turbines.
>"This is sustainability in its truest and finest form," Geoplasma
>President Hilburn Hillestad said.
>For years, some waste management facilities have been converting
>methane - created by rotting trash in landfills - to power. Plants
>also burn trash to produce electricity.
>Houston-based Waste Management Inc., the largest private waste
>management company in North America, has processed 118 million tons
>of garbage into energy in the past 30 years, equivalent to about 120
>million barrels of oil, said company spokeswoman Lynn Brown.
>The company hopes to one day capture all usable methane gas from its
>more than 280 active landfills to create the renewable energy
>equivalent of about 22 million barrels of oil a year, roughly
>equivalent to American consumption in a single day, Brown said.
>But experts say population growth will limit space available for
>future landfills.
>"We've only got the size of the planet. We can't create more space,"
>said Richard Tedder, program administrator for the Florida
>Department of Environmental Protection's solid waste division.
>"Because of all of the pressures of development, people don't want
>landfills. It's going to be harder and harder to site new landfills,
>and it's going to be harder for existing landfills to continue to
>expand as people move in next to them."
>The facility in St. Lucie County, on central Florida's Atlantic
>Coast, aims to solve that problem by eliminating the need for a
>landfill. Only two similar facilities are operating in the world -
>both in Japan - but are gasifying garbage on a much smaller scale.
>"It's high on the list of interest as far as the federal
>government," said Rick Brandes, chief of the Environmental
>Protection Agency's waste minimization division. "For the amount of
>energy produced, you get significantly less of certain pollutants
>like sulfur dioxide and particulate matter."
>Brandes said the European Union is also studying the technology for
>reducing waste and producing power.
>But Bruce Parker, president and CEO of the Washington, D.C.-based
>National Solid Wastes Management Association, scoffs at the notion
>that plasma technology will eliminate the need for landfills.
>Americans generated 236 million tons of garbage in 2003, about 4.5
>pounds per person, per day, according to the latest figures from the
>EPA. Roughly 130 million tons went to landfills - enough to cover a
>football field 703 miles high with garbage.
>"We do know that plasma arc is a legitimate technology, but let's
>see first how this thing works for St. Lucie County," Parker said.
>"It's too soon for people to make wild claims that we won't need landfills."
>NASA began using similar technology in the 1960s to simulate heat
>generated during a spacecraft's re-entry into Earth's atmosphere.
>The technology is also used to melt steel from car parts.
>The torch used in Geoplasma's design is made by Westinghouse Plasma Corp.
>"It's really a form of artificial lightning," said Louis Circeo,
>director of Georgia Tech's plasma research division, which is
>helping with Geoplasma's development.
>Circeo said that as energy prices soar and landfill fees increase,
>plasma arc technology will become more affordable.
>"Municipal solid waste is perhaps the largest renewable energy
>resource that is available to us," Circeo said, adding that the
>process "could not only solve the garbage and landfill problems in
>the United States and elsewhere, but it could significantly
>alleviate the current energy crisis."
>He said that if large plasma facilities were put to use nationwide
>to vaporize trash, they could theoretically generate electricity
>equivalent to about 25 nuclear reactors.
>Geoplasma expects to recoup it's $425 million investment, funded by
>bonds, within 20 years through the sale of electricity and slag.
>"That's the silver lining," said company president Hillestad, adding
>that St. Lucie County won't pay a dime.
>The company expects to generate worldwide interest with the Florida
>facility, which will serve as a model to prove its effectiveness.
>Leo Cordeiro, the county's solid waste director, said officials have
>been researching ways to reduce landfilled garbage for several years
>and reached out to Geoplasma for help.
>"We didn't want to do it like everybody else," Cordeiro said. "We
>knew there were better ways."
>County Commissioner Chris Craft said the plasma process "is bigger
>than just the disposal of waste for St. Lucie County."
>"It addresses two of the world's largest problems - how to deal with
>solid waste and the energy needs of our communities," Craft said.
>"This is the end of the rainbow. It will change the world."
>On The Net:
>Westinghouse Plasma Corp.:
>Last modified: August 19. 2006 12:01AM
>Leonard E. Wheeler, Jr.,

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