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Discussion in 'Home Power and Microgeneration' started by Winston, Jan 22, 2009.

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  1. cool. never heard of it before, i don't know anything about it, other than
    that i own a small plasma cutter. i kinda reeled back when i read in this
    article than they're planning on "mining" an existing landfill and burning
    up all the garbage in it. wow. i never woulda thought they'd be able to
    generate energy from burning garbage with a plasma torch, i woulda thought
    it would've just USED energy. wow.

    (<joking> i guess that would be a solution for me when new york state DEC
    bans all outdoor burning, if i can get a home version of those babies!)
  2. Winston

    Winston Guest

    That's the beauty part. The garbage gets converted into a few inert granules,
    steam process heat and two kinds of flammable gas *without* burning.
    Getting 21.4 x the input energy out of the process in the form of
    steam and syngas is a fine bonus!
    Using his numbers, seven cents worth of electricity and a cubic foot of
    garbage turns into $1.50 worth of energy output and a third of a cubic
    inch of inert gravel.

    This means I could put a 200 years worth of garbage in one 32 gallon can
    while collecting over $28K in process heat and syngas from it.

    Not too darned shabby.

    How much did that plasma cutter cost, if you don't mind my asking?

  3. Winston

    Winston Guest

    Thanks, Tim.

  4. Winston

    Winston Guest

    Thanks, Jim.


  5. i got one similar to the "cutmaster 39", they must've discontinued the model
    i got.

    (i got mine with the understanding that it'd cut 1/4", it is my belief the
    one i got the 1/4" rating is exaggerated, i shoulda got the next larger

  6. Winston

    Winston Guest

    Thanks, Bill.

    I take it that their 5/8" claim is specious as well then... :)

  7. hey,
    i don't want to appear to be saying thermal dynamics machines aren't as
    good as the manufacturer claims them to be, there is the possibility that i
    never really learned how to use the machine properly. what do they say?
    that the "cutmaster 39" can "sever" 5/8" material? i never tried, maybe it
    can. it just seemed to me my plasma cutter doesn't cut as well as i had
    hoped it would, i was pretty disappointed, maybe it's just teh way i use it
    though. (i just reviewed their info) yeah, if it was me i'd get the next
    size larger machine, at least, if not two sizes larger, for me at the time i
    bought my machine that was WAY more than i wanted to spend.

  8. Winston

    Winston Guest

    Well they sound like the cat's pajamas for 'gauge'
    to small sheet stock anyway.


  9. Guest

    Cutting speed ratings paint the clearest picture, although they can be
    hard to find sometimes. Mine is rated to sever 3/4, but at an
    impractically slow rate. Still useful occasionally on such thickness
    for short cuts of material that won't fit in the chop saw. Anyway, the
    ratings assume that the consumables are in good shape, which tends to
    make the ratings overly optimistic. With even somewhat worn
    consumables, mine will breeze through 1/8" and cut 1/4" acceptably,
    but gets sluggish at 3/8", particularly when starting at awkward
    angles. On thick stuff I usually start with new consumables and try to
    get through any difficult areas early. I keep the worn consumables for
    lighter material, or for when clean cuts aren't important. One other
    note about my machine - I find that unshielded consumables yield a
    narrower kerf and therefore are more effective on thick material. I
    only use the shielded parts when I'm using a template, since the
    square edge of the shielded cap makes that easier.

  10. daestrom

    daestrom Guest

    Apparently you didn't read the presentation. It does *not* make any claims
    about violating the first law. For a modest electrical energy input and a
    ton of municipal waste, you get fuel gas out. Where's the violation there?

    According to the presentation, there are some distinct advantages to using
    plasma torch technology over simply 'burning the rubbish'. One is more
    complete combustion generating more usable fuel gas. Another is the much
    higher temperatures of plasma torches breaks down many harmful contaminants
    that ordinary incineration does not.
    And then there are those like you who don't even read the presentation
    before they make rash statements. :-/

  11. daestrom

    daestrom Guest

    A local garbage incinerator down the road from me 'burns' rubbish using
    natural gas. Yes, it reduces the volume of the waste and gets energy from
    the trash.

    But it has come under a lot of criticism because the temperature of the
    flame is not high enough to really break down many of the components in the
    rubbish. They've had to install several new monitors on the stack and have
    a couple of lawsuits pending from people downwind that have to breath the
    results. Fortunately for me, I'm ten miles up-wind.

    Now, this is not some old, decrepit unit, it is only about 20 years old and
    has had several upgrades. Yet its flue gasses are full of carcinogens and

    They also have trouble having to re-tube the boiler every year or two.
    Seems the flue gasses have so many nasty things that condense in the fire
    tubes, it corrodes them away and causes lots of leaks.

    Yeah, 'existing technology' is just fine for burning rubbish (NOT).

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