changing the way communities deal with waste

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We turn garbage into electricity — how is our process unique?

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Our Performance

Plasco diverts 95% of waste from landfill, replaces fossil fuels with our clean gas, improves local air quality and reduces a community's carbon footprint.

 
 

Environmental Performance

A significant part of Plasco’s philosophy is a commitment to using the best available technologies to minimize our facilities’ environmental footprint and to have an environmental performance that far exceeds regulatory standards.

Greenhouse Gas Reductions
Processing waste through the Plasco Conversion System reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in two ways. First, it eliminates the methane that would form if the waste were landfilled – this is significant since methane has a global warming potential 23 times that of carbon dioxide (CO2). Second, power generated from our process displaces power from other sources such as coal. The result is that a Plasco Facility reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

Air Emissions Performance
In a Plasco Facility, the air emissions are associated with ultra-low engine exhaust from generating electricity. Plasco has invested in the best available gas cleaning technologies to ensure that the syngas is clean prior to delivering it to the engines. Plasco is committed to going beyond compliance. Below is Plasco’s emission profile.

Parameter Units Plasco Demonstration Limits (2008 – 2011) Plasco Actuals1 Dec 2010 Plasco Limits (2011 Onward) Plasco Actuals2 (June 2012) Plasco Actuals4 (Oct/Nov 2012) EU Limits US EPA 40 CFR 60 Eb
Particulate Matter mg/Rm3

17

0.73

7

2.84

0.77

9 14
Organic Matter mg/Rm3

66

0

20

0

0.13

9 -
Hydrogen Chloride mg/Rm3

27

0.28

5

5.583

0.453

9 27
Carbon Monoxide mg/Rm3 - 4.0 30 0.48 0.34 - -
Sulphur Dioxide mg/Rm3

55

38

35

14.3

31.2

46 56
NOx mg/Rm3

207

107

120

55.8

61.3

183 202
Mercury μg/Rm3

20

0.2

10

5.2

0.086

46 35
Cadmium μg/Rm3

14

0

3

0.23

0.19

46 7
Lead μg/Rm3

142

0.2

20

0.95

3.93

- 98
Dioxins and Furans ngTEQ/Rm3

0.06

0.001

0.032

0.001

0.001

0.092 9
Notes: All values are expressed at 11%O2 and regular conditions (101.3 kPa, 25oC)

  1. Plasco Flare with Engine No. 1 exhaust (100% MSW) as submitted to the Ontario Ministry of Environment in Dec 2010
    Source Test report (Validated)
  2. Plasco Flare with Engine No. 1 exhaust (100% MSW) as submitted to the Ontario Ministry of Environment in June 2012
    Source Test report (Validated)
  3. HCl concentration measured over 3 x 1hr periods and is not comparable to 24 hr average emission limit
  4. Plasco Flare with Engine exhaust (100% MSW) as submitted to Ontario Ministry of Environment in October/November 2012
    Source Test report

What about the other 5%?
While most jurisdictions require that hazardous waste like batteries and thermometers, be disposed of in controlled facilities, these heavy metals still enter the primary waste stream and unfortunately end up in landfills and incinerators. In a conventional landfill these substances would slowly poison our land and water system. The Plasco Conversion System removes these hazardous substances that enter the waste stream and sends them for controlled disposal in a hazardous waste facility. With a typical North American municipal waste stream, the total heavy metals sent for disposal — including the activated carbon screen they are caught in — amount to about 5% of the waste that Plasco processes. The other 95% of the waste is converted into electricity and other saleable products. It is important to note that these metals are not created by the Plasco Conversion System but are captured by the system to permit safe disposal.

Distributed Clean Power
Areas that generate large amounts of waste are typically areas that consume large amounts of electricity. Locating our facilities close to where waste is created also has the benefit of generating electricity where it is needed. This means that it can be transmitted and consumed over the local network instead of being imported long distances on the already burdened transmission lines. This is a problem faced by traditional technologies and even with renewable sources like wind and hydro. Transmission over long distances can waste up to 10% due to transmission line loss. Distributed power generation also helps strengthen the power system by adding local supply and minimizing
outages. By distributing facilities across a city, Plasco is also able to minimize truck traffic and road congestion.