Discovery Channel Online; December, 2008
The scoop: Plasma is a collection of charged particles that respond to an electromagnetic field (think lightning and the sun). In Florida and California, cities are looking at ways to use plasma to obliterate garbage and use the heat to generate power. But initial plans in Florida to build the largest plasma arc gasification plant in the world have been scaled back by about 80 percent. And in Sacramento, the proposed plant has been put on hold because of a lack of details about just how much electricity would be produced and how much trash would be gasified by plasma. But why were folks looking into plasma in the first place? Expert Louis Circeo gives a list of his top 10 reasons for zapping garbage with plasma.
1. It reduces the need for landfills.
Sometimes called "artificial lightning," plasma can have temperatures that can exceed 7,000 degrees centigrade -- that's three times hotter than fossil fuels and hotter than the surface of the sun.