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CSIR Technology for safe disposal of Municipal Solid Waste utilising High Temperature Plasma

08 Mar 2017

One of the major environmental hazards confronting Indian cities is Municipal Solid Waste Management (MSW). The unscientific disposal of much of the Municipal Solid Waste has serious implications for public health and the environment. According to Central Pollution Control Board and HR reports, in India annual municipal solid waste (MSW) generation ranges 40-55 million tons per year. As per reports, waste generation will exceed 260 million tonnes per year by 2047. This waste is a potential health hazard to the public, flora and fauna of the India. To maintain environmental safety and sustain public health, disposing off the enormous amount of generated MSW should be our chief priority.

CSIR-CMERI has successfully established a Mini-Plant for Municipal Solid Waste Management with a capacity of 20 kg per hour. This contains plasma cracker, two-three plasma torches, redox reactor, catalytic convertor, cyclone separator, scrubber, condenser and gas collection tank. The plasma arc technology being used in the mini-plant is an effective, eco-friendly and efficient process for proper disposal of solid waste material generated on daily basis. In this waste disposal system, plasma torch is used to generate very high temperature (2,000 -5,000°C) to convert the waste into hydrogen rich fuel gas. The high temperature and lack of oxygen prevents formation of toxic compounds. The segregated waste construction materials can be recycled. The plasma driven technology can be utilised for drastic volume minimization of huge amount of wastes and simultaneously energy resource in various municipalities. This less explored technology is proficient compared to other techniques like land-filling and incineration etc. Incineration may cause potential emission of toxic pollutants like dioxins, furans, SOx, NOx and a few more toxic gases. Incineration cannot be used for all kind of wastes and it needs high calorific value waste to continue combustion. In addition incineration requires moisture less than 50% and sufficient amount of oxygen to fully oxidize the fuel. Land-filling having solid with waste may cause choking of drainage system and leaching of contaminants in ground as well as surface water.

This technology is going to be deployed in CSIR-CMERI colony for making it the zero waste colony. After successful establishment of this mini plant, next target will be to develop plants to dispose-off MSW to make a cleaner and better India to fulfil the mission “Swasth Bharat and Swachh Bharat”.

{Feature has been uploaded by CSIR (Unit for Science Dissemination), Ministry of Science & Technology, New Delhi}.


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