FAQ

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    What is a Waste to Energy Plant?
Waste to energy plants use heat to convert waste from a variety of sources to useable energy products such as Syngas and useable byproducts that can be used for a variety of applications.  Waste to Energy is the general category for technologies that convert waste products, such as MSW and industrial wastes, into energy.
    What is Plasma Gasification?
Gasification is proven technology for breaking down organic matter using a heat source which, in a Cahill Energy gasification plant, is plasma torch technology. Using plasma gasification the technology allows the plant to operate at very high temperatures and by containing the high temperature, waste can be destroyed without any combustion taking place. Because there is no combustion, organic waste is transformed (molecules are recombined) into a syngas which, once it has been cooled, cleaned and conditioned, can be used as a fuel for driving a gas turbine generator. By operating a gas turbine in combination with a steam turbine generator electrical energy will be produced. The plasma gasification process also results in the production of vitrified slag which is an inert glassy substance that can be used for a variety of applications (such as construction materials).
    How many plasma gasification plants are there currently using the same process that Cahill’s new plant will be using and where are they located?
Westinghouse Plasma technology is

  • used in two commercial operating facilities (at Mihama Mikata, Japan and Pune, India)
  • As illustrated below, the technology is to be installed at 5 facilities in the process of construction/commissioning (2 in the UK, and 3 in China)
  • 1 additional plant is under development (Nottinghamshire, UK).
    What kind of power can this technology provide?
Electric power generated per ton of MSW processed is can be up to 50% greater than traditional mass-burn incineration. One ton of waste can produce approximately 1000 kwh of electricity, enough electricity to power a typical American household for a month.
    What is Municipal Solid Waste (MSW)
Also referred to as solid waste—or more commonly known as trash or garbage—municipal solid waste is a waste stream that predominantly contains household waste with the addition of commercial wastes collected by a municipality within a given area.
    What is Synthesis Gas (syngas)
A gas produced during the plasma gasification of waste that is comprised primarily of carbon monoxide and hydrogen. The synthesis gas, once cleaned to remove impurities, can be used as a variety of fuel sources.