FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Ultra-high temperature gasification is the destructive distillation of organic materials- converting complex molecules to simple, safe molecules.

This distillation process evolves in the absence of oxygen combined with the application of intense, indirect thermal energy. When the material is introduced to the system it almost instantly reduces to a combustible gas and a hazard-free, non-leachable inorganic residue. No char, oil or ash.

  1. Material with high calorific values, eg tyres, plastics, woody bio-mass, municipal solid waste, and hospital and hazardous waste, is shredded and then separated into recyclable materials and refuse derived fuel (RDF).
  2. RDF is passed through the nitrogen purged feed bin system to remove any oxygen.
  3. Oxygen-free RDF moves through the rotating ultra-high temperature gasification chamber at atmospheric pressure in a non-combustive environment. The reactor, operating at above 1,000°C, breaks down the RDF, converting it into synthesis gas.
  4. The syngas passes out of the reactor and any remaining solids, which are benign, are removed and disposed of according to local environmental compliance requirements.
  5. The syngas is used to generate electricity in a gas-powered turbine. An estimated 17% of electricity generated is used to power the UHT gasification system. Any thermal energy created during this step may be used to heat the site. Alternatively, the syngas may be converted to liquid hydrogen, syndiesel or other liquid fuel suitable for transportation or used as a replacement for natural gas or oil for heating or use in industrial furnaces.

PowerHouse’s G3 UHt system works with multiple waste streams, except for nuclear and radioactive waste. Generally, waste is reduced to refuse derived fuel (“RDF”), before being introduced to the system which can be designed and configured to receive all types of municipal waste from commercial, private and industrial sources.

Purpose-built G3 Units are being designed exclusively for the economical elimination of highly toxic waste in focused arenas like pharmaceutical manufacturing, chemical production, or other industrial applications.

Auto Shredder Residue (“ASR”) is another niche market that is extremely interesting due to the cost of eliminating the non-recyclable components of automobile dismantling. Our ability to gasify the nonrecyclable organic components of the ASR allows us to convert those organics into synthesis gas and fuel electrical generation for the operation of the dismantling operations, and send the excess electricity back to the grid.

The advantages of gasification are multifold. In addition to a reduced carbon dioxide footprint compared to incineration, ultra high temperature gasification results in no leachable residue or ash, a significant problem faced by pyrolysis and lower temperature combustion-based systems.

Low temperature alternatives produce significant levels of highly toxic and potentially carcinogenic cyclic molecules. Those toxins are imbued in the residues and ashes of lower temperature systems and require that the ash and residue be land-filled for hygiene and safety. This is not the case with the PowerHouse approach which generates electricity without toxic by-products.

Our system’s complete demolecularisation capabilities allow us to manage expensive toxic wastestreams and to capture the energy value while completely detoxifying the waste. Any resultant residue is completely non-toxic, non-leachable, and requires no specialised disposal. It has the consistency of talc.

Firstly it’s made of a special ceramic that’s rated to around 1500C+. This same ceramic is also used in various key components in the reactor, so everything expands and contracts at the same rate.

The ceramic is also extraordinarily hard wearing, and resistant to all usual acids and chemicals that would rip apart virtually all other materials. This is why our system can process everything from tires and batteries to biomass and municipal waste.

In addition the heat source we use is unique. We either use a microwave source to heat up the ceramic reactor itself, or we use an electric resistance heating element in vacuum formed ceramic fibre casing. In some cases we use both simultaneously.

The combination of the ceramic reactor and microwave power source has allowed us to build these units in sizes from 25 tons per day of waste, all the way to 2,500 tons per day, producing approximately 100 megawatts of power.

We’re expecting the G3 to be in the UK by the end of Q1 2017. Transportation time will be the large variable. We will be using OrePro personnel for the set up and on-site commissioning of the unit, although we’re likely to hire our own team in the UK over time to assume responsibility for the demonstration unit and general business development activities. The OrePro people will be dedicated exclusively to our project for the duration and will cross-train PHE’s own personnel.

There is, currently, very little excess heat developed in the process- by design. We’ve improved the efficiency of our thermal conduction and insulation elements so that the heat is directed where is it used- into the reactor chamber. The small amount of excess heat is designed to generate super-heated steam which is injected into the chamber to ensure that all the Carbon is reduced to CO and that H2 is released as a balanced syngas. The injection of steam is the mechanism by which we adjust the CO and H2 levels in the Synthesis Gas.

The lead time in any project depends on the complexity of the waste-stream and existing infrastructure. Our engineering/construction/commissioning part of any project is usually about 1/3rd of the actual time needed to complete a project. We can establish a working, electrical generating, end to end project within about 6 to 18 months, depending on the size.