Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

Technical design package and cost statement of a commercial plant

A detailed conceptual design of a plasma-based commercial waste treatment plant has been completed, including piping and instrumentation diagrams, process flow diagrams, thermal and thermodynamic calculations and detailed equipment description. This plant is designed to process a mixture of organic and inorganic waste materials and produce a stable solid by-product and a synthetic gas (syn gas) with a retained heating value. The design is based on an organic content in the waste of between 0 and 20% and with water at up to 20% in order to give a plant with a range of operating regimes.

The composition of the solid by-product can be adjusted by the careful mixing of waste materials in the appropriate ratios to give a material suitable for granulation and crushing as a ceramic raw material. The syn gas can be used for heat recovery in the form of hot water and/or steam or for the generation of electrical power.

Economic evaluations have been made of the concept design at throughputs of between 500 and 2500kg/h, including assessments of capital and operating costs and the credits available from the sale or use of solid by-products. This has given a cost of treatment, including capital charges, of between 350 Euros/tonne of waste and €150/tonne of waste including credits from the sale of the slag, depending on the plant size. Economic analysis suggests that at lower throughputs the capital and labour costs dominate, but this is reversed at higher plant throughputs. It also suggests that the capital cost of the plants vary in proportion to the throughput raised to the power of 0.35, which is consistent with other chemical engineering processing plants, of similar complexity and throughput.

These aspects of the result provide a ready reference for potential investors in the technology, with detailed information on plant design, plant descriptions, process economics and the dependence of all these things with changing plant throughput. The waste treatment cost figures suggest that plasma treatment will be competitive with alternative disposal methods, especially when comparisons are made at similar throughputs.

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Tetronics Ltd
5 Lechlade Rd
SN7 8AL Faringdon, Oxfordshire
United Kingdom
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