Waste Management, InEnTec to Develop Plasma Gasification Sites

Houston-based Waste Management and Bend, Ore.-based InEnTec have created S4 Energy Solutions Inc., a joint venture that will develop and operate plasma gasification facilities. The sites will use InEnTec’s Plasma Enhanced Melter (PEM) technology to create energy and fuels from medical, commercial and industrial waste.

“We see waste as a resource to be recovered, and this joint venture with the PEM system will help Waste Management’s commercial and industrial customers maximize high energy value waste streams to generate valuable renewable energy products based on their unique environmental and logistical considerations,” said Joe Vaillancourt, managing director at Waste Management, in a press release. “With InEnTec, Waste Management has found a partner with a promising technology as well as strong management, research and development capabilities to address the hurdles to implementing a new technology.”

Under the PEM process, according to the press release put out by the joint venture, “waste materials are fed into a closed chamber where they are superheated to temperatures of between 10,000 and 20,000 degrees Fahrenheit using an electricity-conducting gas called plasma.” The resulting synthetic gas can be converted to ethanol and diesel fuels, among other things.