All Fired Up

by Ed Smith, (M.ASCE), Res. Sci.; U.S. Army Constr. Engrg. Res. Lab., Champaign, IL,
Hany Zaghloul, Envir. Engr.; U.S. Army Constr. Engr. Res. Lab., Champaign, IL,
James I. Arnold, Div. Chf.; U.S. Army Envir. Ctr., Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD,
Louis Kanaras, Proj. Mgr.; U.S. Army Envir. Ctr., Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1997, Vol. 67, Issue 11, Pg. 34-37

Document Type: Feature article


Plasma arc technology is being used to treat hazardous waste and contaminated soil and could be used to recycle landfills. The process uses plasma torches that operate at temperatures in excess of 3000C to vitrify waste material. After treatment, the glassy blocks can be used as construction material because they do not leach contaminants. Plasma treatment units consist of a waste-feed system, a processing chamber, a solid residue removal and handling system, a gas management system, and operational controls. Researchers are developing mobile units that can be transported to hazardous waste sites in order to decrease the amount of time, expense, and risk associated with transporting waste materials to treatment and disposal facilities.

Subject Headings: Hazardous wastes | Waste treatment plants | Recycling | Waste management | Systems management | Occupational safety | Soil treatment | Hazardous substances

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