Plasma Gasification: From Garbage to Clean Energy
September 12, 2012
Core Biology I Honors / C-Block, Davies
Current Event Report- Plasma Gasification: From Garbage to Clean Energy
Leonard, Randy. "Plasma Gasification Raises Hope of Clean Energy from Garbage" New York Times Online. 11 Sept 2012.
The development of plasma gasification, if accepted and used by other waste companies, could create significant improvements in the environment and greatly affect humanity. It is a lot cleaner than incineration, and thus, a lot better for the environment. However, some scientists worry that by being able to completely get rid of all trash could potentially discourage recycling and the creation of renewable products. However, I believe this argument is weak when put in contrast to all the plus sides of plasma gasification. With this new technique and process of waste disposal, three hundred fifty kilowatts of electricity will be created from about ten tons of garbage every day. On top of this, metals will be recycled, less toxic substances will be created, and there will be a great decrease of emissions in the atmosphere.
I feel the author, Randy Leonard, did a sufficient job at writing this article. He was successful in his description of the process of plasma gasification, going through each of the steps and using a lot of detail. On the other hand, I lost interest towards the end of the paper when the writer started veering off and talking about other facilities handling waste in similar ways to the plasma gasification method David Robau is promoting. Although this information is relevant, I feel the article could easily stand without this section. Also, I did not especially like how the article ended with the quote, "They're not even at the point where they should be thinking about waste-to-energy," from a scientist named Allen Hershkowitz . In my opinion, the article should have ended with a positive note on plasma gasification and not with a statement from someone who opposes the idea.