Plasma technology has existed since the 1960s.
The first to develop plasma technology was the American Westinghouse which started with plasma testing for applications of interest in the military and aerospace field (NASA, Apollo program, etc.)
Its using applied to matrix recovery was developed conceptually by Nippon Steel Engineering and Japan Fe Engineering, derives from a process of the metallurgical industry and associates the possibility of a moderate energy recovery with the production of reusable granulated slag.
The first 2 commercial plants capable of treating MSW were both built in Japan.
From the pilot plant (30 tons per day) commissioned by Hitachi Metals in Yoshii, given the enormous potential, the plant was immediately built in the zero emission Mihama-Mikata industrial park. The Utashinai plasma gasification plant, whose original project had a capacity of around 170 tons per day of MSW and residues of car shredders (ASR), after initial problems that delayed the opening of a few years, is It has been completely revised to evolve into a plant capable of processing around 300 tons per day: the plant generates up to 7.9 megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity, selling approximately 4.3 MWh to the electricity grid net of self-consumption.
In France, plasma gasification is used to melt asbestos making it inert, but still in the Bordeaux area another Plasma Torch has been processing organic waste for years with the production of syngas and therefore of energy.
Today these are followed by numerous systems, also mounted on cruise and military ships, including the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) Supercarrier - US Navy.
Another very interesting case of application of plasma to the MSW is the Brasov plant in Romania capable of no less than 12 tons per hour and the first in the world to have exceeded the gross production of 1,200 kWh per ton using a plasma torch.
In 1999 a "pilot" plant of 166 short tons (151 t) per day was built in Yoshii, developed by Hitachi Metals Ltd. It was certified after a demonstration period in 1999-2000. The Yoshii pilot plant was taken out of service at the end of the pilot program in 2004.
In 2002 a plant of 28 short tons (25 t) per day was commissioned in the twin cities of Mihama and Mimata, which is still operating today. The plasma plants used a fixed bed gasifier with plasma torches on the bottom, with the addition of coke to add energy and act as a bed for slag and the addition of lime or similar flow agent.
PEAT International has built a plasma arc waste disposal facility at National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) in the city of Tainan, Taiwan, which uses its proprietary method of recovering plasma thermal destruction. The facility is capable of handling 3-5 tons (3.3-5.5 short tons) of waste per day from a variety of waste streams, including incinerator fly ash, medical waste, industrial process waste organic and inorganic sludge. It can also process waste batteries and other materials, including heavy metal sludge and refinery catalysts (waste streams that would generate precious metal alloys). The facility was built as part of a comprehensive Taiwan-funded resource recovery facility, which marks the first time that the Taiwanese government has committed financial and technical resources to the use of plasma technology. It was commissioned in November 2004 and obtained operational authorization in January 2005. PEAT actively participated in the operations and maintenance of the facility on behalf of NCKU for the purpose of its research.
A 72-ton per day waste-to-energy plant located in Pune, India, was commissioned in 2008. The plant is the world's largest plasma gasification WTE plant that treats hazardous waste. The gas produced burned in a steam boiler that drives a flow turbine that produces up to 1.6 MW (net) of electricity.
In January 2013, Alter NRG announced that Wuhan Kaidi had successfully commissioned a Westinghouse plasma gasification unit as a demonstration plant located in Wuhan, China. The plasma gasification unit was designed to process around 100 tons per day of biomass waste and convert it into clean syngas. The clean syngas must therefore be converted into diesel and other fuels for transportation to the Kaidi plant.
Finally, we enclose the process simulations relating to the plasma torch designed by Eng.Zucca on behalf of the Lombardy region in Italy to transform plastics into aircraft gasoline to be used to feed the second airport in Italy.