On July 6, The Gazette had an excellent front-page story about plans to build a plasma-arc waste treatment plant in Marion (“Proposed Marion plasma-arc planting switching gears”). As indicated in the story, the initial realization of the facility will produce, as its primary product, rock wool bulk insulation (far superior to fiberglass insulation) and sufficient energy to power the plasma facility. This will be accomplished in an environmentally clean manner.
However, and perhaps more important, the plant will be modularly expandable to produce large amounts of energy in the form of electricity and/or steam from carbonaceous waste. The technology far exceeds all known solid waste-to-energy treatments. This expansion capability will provide attraction to industry that can use the additional energy capabilities. Some of the energy could supply significant amounts of electricity for Marion residents.
The facility also can be further expanded to produce compressed gas, which could be used to power city trucks and other vehicles. These potential expansions also will operate in an environmentally clean manner.
The city of Marion is under contract to Plasma Power LLC to provide a significant amount of solid waste to Plasma Power’s planned facility. Plasma Power wants all the components of waste that Marion can provide as feedstock to the plant. Care must be taken not to short-supply Plasma Power of desired feedstock by committing waste to an inferior waste treatment process.
Treasurer and spokesman,wastenotIOWA Inc.