Plasma Waste Destruction

  • Milan HrabovskyEmail author
  • Izak Jacobus van der Walt
Reference work entry


This chapter analyzes the physical and technological aspects of waste treatment using thermal plasma technology. The waste treatment problems are briefly characterized and an overview of methods of waste treatment is presented. Main industrial-scale plasma waste treatment units installed in the world are described. Basic principles of plasma waste treatment systems are presented and processes of waste-to-energy conversion by plasma gasification of organics are analyzed. Potential advantages of using plasma for gasification are summarized, fundamental chemistry of the plasma gasification process as well as basic thermodynamics, the energy balance, and the kinetics of the process are described. Examples of results of thermal plasma gasification of various organic wastes are presented. Produced gas compositions for different feed materials are shown, including sawdust, wooden pellets, brown coal, polyethylene, and pyrolytic oil produced from car tires. The results show that it is possible to produce syngas of high hydrogen and carbon monoxide content, with low levels of contaminants, and with a high calorific value. Plasma gasification is a process with huge potential for converting low-value materials to a high-value fuel, syngas. The process offers at the same time a means to convert electrical energy to chemical energy, which is particularly relevant to the storage of renewable energy.



I.J. van der Walt gratefully acknowledges Mr. A.A. Jansen and Prof. P.L. Crouse for their valuable guidance and inputs as scientific mentors.

I.J. van der Walt gratefully acknowledges support from Necsa, DOE, and DST for allowing time to write this work and for support with funding, laboratory space, and plasma equipment.

M. Hrabovsky gratefully acknowledges the support of the Grant Agency of CR under the project number GA15-19444S.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Plasma Physics ASCRPragueCzech Republic
  2. 2.R&D Plasma DevelopmentThe South African Nuclear Energy CorporationPlelindabaSouth Africa

Section editors and affiliations

  • Javad Mostaghimi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical and Industrial EngineeringUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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