Plasma, often referred to as the "fourth state of matter," is used to describe a gas that has become ionized. Ionization occurs when the atoms of the gas lose one or more electrons, resulting in an electrically charged state. Examples of natural plasma include the sun and lightning. Man-made plasma is generated by passing an electrical discharge through a gas like air or oxygen. This interaction between the electric discharge and the process gas causes a significant temperature increase in the gas, often exceeding 5,500°C (10,000°F), which is nearly as hot as the sun's surface.
WPC's plasma torches can be supplied with process gases of various chemical compositions, including air, oxygen, nitrogen, argon, and others. This flexibility allows WPC to customize the plasma torch system to best meet the needs of our customers. WPC's plasma technology can elevate the energy of the process gas to two to ten times higher than conventional combustion methods.
What is Plasma Gasification
Gasification is a process that transforms carbon-containing materials like coal, petroleum coke, municipal solid waste, or biomass into a synthesis gas (syngas), primarily composed of carbon monoxide and hydrogen. This transformation happens when a carbon-containing feedstock is subjected to elevated temperatures and/or pressures while being exposed to controlled amounts of oxygen. Syngas can serve as a fuel for generating electricity or steam, or it can function as a fundamental chemical building block in the production of high-value energy products like diesel or electricity.
WPC Plasma Advantages
WPC's plasma torch technology, which has undergone over 30 years of development, is a highly efficient process heating device specifically engineered for minimal maintenance in industrial environments. The WPC plasma torch offers inherent flexibility compared to combustion burners, enabling precise temperature control independently of fuel or oxygen throughput during the process. Generally, the greater the temperature differential between the heat source and the material to be heated, the faster the processing can occur.
The advantages of WPC plasma torches encompass:
- Exceptional reliability, with over 500,000 hours of commercial operation
- Successful commercial application in the world's largest plasma gasification facility
- Availability in a broad range of power inputs, spanning from 80 to 2,400 kW
- Quick adjustment of power input to match process requirements.