Power Sources Focus Group — Evaluation of Plasma Gasification for Waste-to-Energy Conversion

Report No. ARL-RP-0403
Authors: William R. Allmon and Ronald S. Pandolfi
Date/Pages: September 2012; 292 pages
Abstract: Energy is a mission-critical enabler for Intelligence and Defense Community facilities and operations, both domestic and abroad. To enhance mission capabilities, the Power Sources Focus Group has been examining alternative and renewable energy technologies. Converting waste into electrical power is attractive because it responds to another mission-critical need, waste disposal. From a small expeditionary force of a few soldiers to a large foreign or domestic installation, the needs for eliminating waste and generating electrical power are major drivers for logistical support and mission capabilities. Plasma gasification has many potential attributes for eliminating waste and generating electrical power. It can eliminate a wide range of waste types—including municipal, industrial, medical, and other hazardous feedstock—while extracting a higher energy content than current methods such as incinerators and conventional gasifiers. This report is a limited scope evaluation of the technical feasibility and operational utility of plasma gasification for eliminating waste and generating electrical power. It is based largely on information presented during a September 28, 2011, special meeting of the Power Sources Focus Group on Plasma Gasification. Where there are principal uncertainties, this report recommends research, testing, and follow-on evaluations.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: September 1, 2012