Our society produces over 2 billion tons of waste per year, a number that is expected to grow over 70% by the next five years – to put that into perspective that’s a line of garbage trucks stretching from San Francisco to New York City every single day.
With this issue, companies have long sought ways to turn all this waste into energy by burning our trash – but this method is said to strike major environmental drawbacks. So what is the better solution? – Gasification
How does Gasification Turn Waste into Energy?
Gasification is a technological process that converts any carbonaceous (carbon-based) raw material such as coal into fuel gas, also known as synthesis gas (syngas for short) – a process said to be both economical and eco-friendly. This synthetic gas can then be converted into a wide variety of end products like electricity, hydrogen fuel, ethanol, and more.
How can Microwave Plasma be Used for Waste Gasification Applications?
Microwave energy has the potential to promote gas production during biomass pyrolysis or gasification based on its advantageous features such as rapid and selective heating. Microwave energy can be used to generate microwave plasma, which thus can be used to convert biomass into renewable biofuels.
Microwave Plasma for Waste Gasification Application
Our customer needed a high-power microwave source that could be used to generate a stable source of plasma, intended for disposing of solid waste materials. Discover how RFHIC’s GaN solid-state microwave solutions met their needs!
Our customer is a globally renowned company specializing in developing green plasma energy with the goal of industrializing plasma application technology. The company operates a world-class plasma gasification plant generating up to 600kg of green hydrogen production per day to be reused for electricity and other forms of green gases.
Plasma energy can be used to dispose of not only biomass but also harmful wastes and convert it into an efficient form of energy – which is commonly called syngas. The produced syngas can then be used to generate electricity, fuel combustion systems, and produce hydrogen.
The customer was using a 30kW magnetron system to generate plasma for their waste gasification system. Unfortunately, due to the magnetron’s short life span and high voltage characteristics the company was having major reliability and safety issues. In fact, the system would shut down every couple of hours due to a faulty magnetron head. Also, having the magnetron supplier overseas made the process even more inefficient and costly.
Due to the system’s frequent shutdowns, the company was having trouble creating a reliable source of plasma as well as getting their system to scale.
The company was looking for a microwave solution that could generate and obtain plasma in a reliable manner while being able to withstand those high temperatures.
RFHIC’s Proposed Solution
RFHIC offered a 12kW GaN solid state microwave generator (RIK2512K-40TG) operable from 2400 to 2500 MHz. The RIK2512K-40TG is a solid state-based microwave power source fabricated with RFHIC’s cutting edge gallium-nitride (GaN) on silicon-carbide (SiC) HEMT. The RIK2512K-40TG comes fully equipped with a 3-phase 380VAC power supply unit, a control module, and four SSPA shelves.
Alternative to conventional magnetron-type microwave power supplies, RFHIC’s RIK2512K-40TG allows precise digital controllability of the frequency and phase. Due to these key features, it allowed our customers to generate and obtain a more uniform and deeper plasma penetration, achieving higher volumes of waste in a shorter amount of time.
Although the acquisition cost of RFHIC’s GaN solid state MWG was higher than the magnetron, RFHIC’s GaN solid state MWG ended up being an economical alternative when considering all variable costs (ex. longer lifetime, less maintenance, digital control capability = better quality products, and etc.)
- Longer Lifetime of product = Fewer breakdowns = Less Downtime
- Compact Size = Less floor space required = Lower Costs
- Domestic after service care = Fast and efficient A/S
- Faster Processing Time = Due to the better plasma uniformity allowed them to burn the biomass
- Quality = better quality of plasma was generated using our GaN SSMG achieving higher plasma density