The Company Unit and Testing History
The Technology has evolved through 25 years of research and development, refining, and testing the Patented Plasma technology. In December 1993, Mr. Vance introduced the PAR/PEAP and Plasma technology to the public. This first exposure was at the Electrical Power Research Institute’s Health Care Initiative in Washington, DC, which was sponsored by electric utility companies nationally to develop and reinforce their long-term relationships with healthcare facilities.
Technology and Product History
The first development system was installed at Jackson Memorial Hospital in 1994. That System exceeded all environmental standards for destroying medical waste. Mr. Vance continued development and testing, designed options for different types and capacities of loading, and customized process software for control of the machine. Significant improvements to the efficiency of the system have been made and are continuing to be made as the technology evolves. With the PAR/PEAP features completed and tested in mid-1996, follow-up patents were granted which encompassed those designs providing for more general patent protection. The refinements included: (1) the capability to generate the inert gas for plasma generation; (2) reducing the power requirement for each plasma torch; (3) improving the loading system; and (4) eliminating the adjustment requirements for the torch electrodes. From 1993 thru 2020, 16 development units were designed, manufactured, and tested for many waste streams, feed stocks, and process applications.
Refining the PAR/PEAP
The Company developed, refined, and tested various units of the PAR/PEAP for efficacy and environmental requirements. The first sample system, completed by December 1992, incorporated torches, compactor drums, power supplies, a coolant system, a distributor array, scrubbers, and a controlled chamber. With a capacity of only five pounds per hour, the system was used to prove the validity of the patent claims. Over the next four months, an outside laboratory performed a full range of tests on the unit for compliance with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines for air and water emissions. Test results revealed that the sample system exceeded all water testing criteria and that the off gas produced was insignificant. Likewise, the efficacy for destruction of bio hazardous waste was proven using Florida’s Department of Health guidelines. (Relative to other states, Florida is known as one of the most stringent states for environmental regulation.)
By 1994, the Company built the first full size demonstration system for presentation to prospective customers. The model was designed for clinic operations and fit in a space of 50” X 172” with a height of only 96”. The unit had numerous operating features and was designed to process 100 pounds of waste per hour. In addition to the components of the first sample system, this unit added a computer control system, bar code readers, weighing scales, and safety features for efficiently loading the waste. The prototype system exceeded all standards for destroying all medical waste. In addition, the byproducts produced by the PAR/PEAP (e.g., carbon black and residue) met EPA Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP) tests and the recycled water complied with local drinking water standards.
During this time, PAR/PEAP custom software was designed, finalized, and tested. Options for different types and capacities of loading were developed, ranging from 100 pounds per hour to 24,000 pounds per hour. All models were designed symmetrically to allow for the interchangeability of components and sub-assemblies between models. This is important for ease in upgrading to larger systems when a customer’s waste requirements change over time.
In October 1995, a large healthcare unit was tested by two independent environmental labs. The test included multi-media environmental parameters (air, water, residuals, and efficacy) in accordance with the testing protocol outlined by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. The PAR/PEAP prototype was challenged with mixed cultures of two microorganisms, Bacillus stearothermophilus and Bacillus Subtilis, in concentrations exceeding one million spores per vial of the microorganisms. Each bag of waste contained three vials of spores that continuously challenged the PAR/PEAP test unit with over 50 times the required concentration. All test results verified that this prototype exceeded all parameters for processing Regulated Medical Waste (RMW).
Also, in October 1995, a partnering agreement to test the Plasma process for the effectiveness of LLRW (Low Level Radioactive Waste) was formed with Mr. Vance and several utility companies. A modified medical waste unit was used for testing LLRW and results showed 99% volume reduction with containment of the surrogate metals within the process-generated carbon black.
In February 1996, a beta test unit was installed at Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami, Florida and began a series of tests that included the standard regiment of testing for efficacy, air, water, and residue. This unit was also tested for the ability to generate synthetic fuel gas, liquid fuel, heat reclaim, and process safety control. Again the unit surpassed all testing parameters for RMW and, in the process, the unit generated sufficient fuel and steam for reuse.
Since 1992, 16 Plasma Energy units have been designed, manufactured, and tested for many applications. After 25 years of development the commercial Plasma (PEAP) unit is offered with a capacity of 1 cubic yard per hour to 60 cubic yards per hour. The unit’s capacity limits are based on the volume of process material, not weight. Weight of material only effects the loading design for the units.
Plasma Energy Group currently has a mobile unit designed for processing and testing solid waste on the waste site. This unit will process sewage sludge, cake, grit, FOG, pet-coke, pharmaceutical waste, chemical waste, and any 18% solids from municipal and industrial sources. The mobile unit’s loading system can be modified for many waste streams, that include RMW, MSW, hazardous, solid, and many more. If you have a waste stream not listed in the above, please contact our engineering department.