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Commissioning of Westinghouse plasma biomass gasifier at waste to liquids facility in China

Alter NRG Corp. announced that Wuhan Kaidi, which purchased a Westinghouse Plasma gasifier design, and plasma torch systems, from Alter NRG in 2010, has successfully completed the commissioning of the unit at its demonstration facility in Wuhan, China.

Westinghouse Plasma is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alter NRG that licenses and sells the Westinghouse Plasma technology solutions worldwide. The Westinghouse plasma gasification unit is designed to take approximately 100 tons per day of biomass waste and convert it into clean syngas. The clean syngas is then to be converted into diesel fuel and other transportation fuels at the Kaidi facility.

The demonstration facility is the first instance of a broader business plan being implemented by Kaidi to convert waste biomass in central China utilizing the Westinghouse Plasma technology. Under the contract, Alter NRG has access to operational data from the Kaidi facility.

This is a significant reference plant that shows how our Westinghouse Plasma conversion technology has the ability to take a societal problem of waste products and convert it into useful renewable energy. China is a large market with aggressive mandates for renewable energy and we are excited by the interest in the region for waste-to-energy technology and the foothold we now have in the China market with Kaidi.

—Walter Howard, CEO of Alter NRG



A smart idea that deserves to be promoted worldwide to get rid of mountains of odorous wastes and convert them into useful gas and/or cleaner local e-energy source.

Why isn't it installed for every city in USA?

The initial cost could be partly paid by make work programs etc.


It's hard to find efficiency figures for plasma gasification.  I'd love to know typical kWh/ton values, plus the heating value and composition of the product.


Somehow plazma gazification of biomass and especialy nonrecyclible part of comunal waste not finding way to the market. It will be kick in the ass for the rest of the world if installs China first comercial plazma incineration plants.


With as much garbage as we landfill, one wonders if Westinghouse's relutance to invest in operations doesn't tell us the true viability of the process? I mean, are they telling us it's profitable? If it's profitable why don't they install and operate themselves? Apparently,the money is in selling the equipment, not in producing fuels. I understand when small companies can't overcome the impedance of the federal government, but Westinghouse is one of the elite connected giant corporations that run the government.


It would be of little consequence to anyone but Darius if China installs the first comercial plazma incineration plants.

And no big deal even if they "claimed" they were profitable.

Slow Lane

HenryD - There are a few good reasons why the US is a low priority market. Tipping costs are relatively low due to available landfill space. Citizenry is better organized than they are informed (look what happened in Mass., for example) and the NIMBY mentality makes it difficult to site plants. Plasco got whipsawed by the state of California and has put their project their on hold. European and Asian markets are much further along in terms of being receptive markets.

Eng-Poet - the Chinese are apparently not anxious to share information publicly from this site. WPC was not allowed to post photos of the site on their website after construction began. Maybe once they start rolling out plants (100-150 sites have been identified) there will be more information available.

Darius - Air Products is building a 50 Kw gasification plant in Teesside in the UK. Construction is underway with commissioning planned in 2014. Also...gasification is not incineration.

Brotherkenny4 - The Westinghouse Plasma Corporation in question is a wholly owned subsidiary of Alter NRG. It was spun out of Westinghouse years ago and acquired by Alter about seven years back. It has nothing to do with the elite connected giants that run the government. Also, if you study the business model, ownership participation in the plants is very much on the agenda. The company has explicitly stated that and insures that equity participation rights are part of the contracts. Alter has the right to equity participation in Teesside but they did not have the available cash at the time. This is all documented. Did you know that Roman Abramovich, one of the richest men in the world, recently bought a large equity stake in Alter NRG? I don't think it was just for fun. Also, Air Products is financing the construction of the Teesside plant internally. They are putting up almost half a billion dollars to build it. They have announced a second plant to be located on the same site as the first. They have announced an intention to build at least five plants. I don't think they are doing it to lose money. If they were worried about that, they would have borrowed it from a bank. ;^)



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