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Red_Chili
02-26-2007, 01:50 PM
This is awesome stuff... It's been said the 'next big thing' (new technology bubble) will be related to energy independence/greenhouse issues.

Plasma Converter (http://www.popsci.com/popsci/science/873aae7bf86c0110vgnvcm1000004eecbccdrcrd.html)

gahi
02-26-2007, 08:16 PM
I hope this becomes a reality. Very cool.

60wag
02-26-2007, 09:25 PM
Pretty cool. I just hope that Exxon doesn't buy it and bury it.

Red_Chili
02-27-2007, 08:12 AM
No chance.
I bet they build a gas supply infrastructure though!

Maddmatt
02-27-2007, 09:16 AM
Awesome. They kind of gloss over one guy's comments that the solid waste might break down into toxic materials if exposed to water, but if that is a concern, I'm sure there's a way to address it. You're starting with a non-toxic solid, I'm sure there's a way to keep it that way.

Once again, life imitates "art". Anybody else remember "Doc" coming back from the future in the Delorean, and dumping trash into a cuisinart sized converter on the back of the DeLorean?

Anyway, what a cool technology. Anybody else want to form an exploratory company, buy what's left of Rocky Flats, put in a Plasma station, take over the garbage industry for the front range, and sell the energy back to the grid for a neat little profit? Picture that area with a few hundred pine trees planted around it, you could turn a former nuclear weapons plant into a clean garbage removal / power creation plant. I'll put in $100.
-Matt

Hulk
02-27-2007, 10:17 AM
Anybody else remember "Doc" coming back from the future in the Delorean, and dumping trash into a cuisinart sized converter on the back of the DeLorean?

Mr. Fusion.

Maddmatt
02-27-2007, 01:20 PM
I'm not a nuclear physicist, but I know this much, that he can't break the laws of thermodynamics. If I understand his thing, he's probably doing what's called thermal depolymerization. This is not a new concept, it's been around for a few decades, primarily as a way to produce crude oil from waste.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermal_depolymerization

The end-to-end process is really endothermic, so it takes significant energy to break the molecular bonds that might free any energy. It's not a system to produce net positive energy, although once started it's possible it could be self sustaining. He can say it's 'producing' energy because he's assuming the feedstock is free. If you consider the energy required to produce the stuff he's feeding it, then it's not making new energy. IOW, it took energy to make diapers or grow bananas and when all that is added to the calculation, it does not make something from nothing.

But the economics would probably work out, since it does produce energy where as a landfill is pretty much just an eyesore. It does require that you buy energy for the process and so economically he'd still need to charge the trash companies to dump their waste. My guess is that he's sort of a snake oil salesman with the free energy promises, but there is truth to the process as a way to convert trash to something useful.

Good insight, thanks. Granted I sort of skimmed the story, but from my point of reference any energy produced is sort of a bonus (although my original post sort of highlighted that part of it). I think the benefit is finding a much more environmentally sensitive way of removing trash. As there are more people, there is only going to be more trash. When I'm doing my periodic home remodel projects, or paying the trash collection bill, I would pay somewhat more to send that product to a self sustaining fire (because that's really what we're talking about, right?) than to dump it in a hole off of Highway 93. That hole will eventuallyfill up, but there is no end in sight to the "free" feedstock for that fire. Whether it works or not, it's great to see a step in that direction.
-Matt

Red_Chili
02-27-2007, 04:12 PM
It's 'free' in that it reclaims energy that would otherwise be lost, by charging less than it takes currently (and far less than what it will take in the very near futurre) to simply dispose of (waste) all that energy.

So in that sense, yeah, it's fully self-sustaining. It doesn't require additional energy inputs once the starting energy is used, and produces much more than it needs to keep the process running. Not new technology, but an optimized implementation.

At least that's what I got out of the article. No snake oil...

wesintl
02-27-2007, 04:28 PM
My guess is that he's sort of a snake oil salesman with the free energy promises,

His name is Ivan Tretiak :lmao:

TacoDuck
02-27-2007, 04:37 PM
MaddMatt,

I was thinking the same thing, 'Back to the future'.

Eventually I wan't to upgrade my Taco with a Flux-Capacitor! Lots of low-end torque, I hear.

Maybe we'll be able to fill up our Flux-Capacitors with the effluent from the plasma converter.

Loren :cheers:

Red_Chili
02-28-2007, 08:03 AM
My Buell already has a flux capacitor. It is cleverly disguised as a very loud fan, but its secret purpose is known to the initiated.

Helps with the wheelies. Getting better at them. And no, Cheeseman, you may not have my truck.

Uncle Ben
02-28-2007, 01:36 PM
My Buell already has a flux capacitor. It is cleverly disguised as a very loud fan, but its secret purpose is known to the initiated.

Helps with the wheelies. Getting better at them. And no, Cheeseman, you may not have my truck.

Found some good vid for you to armchair wheelie with......Wheelie? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpQP4v_Z0nQ)