Apparatus and method for treating hazardous waste

  • US 5,534,659 A
  • Filed: 04/18/1994
  • Issued: 07/09/1996
  • Est. Priority Date: 04/18/1994
  • Status: Expired due to Term
First Claim
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1. An apparatus for treating waste consisting of inorganic and organic components, comprising:

  • a waste processing chamber;

    means for continually feeding waste into said processing chamber at a controlled feed rate;

    a plasma arc torch for heating said processing chamber to a sufficient temperature to convert organic components of the waste to a gas comprising hydrogen, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, and to particulate including carbon particulate, and to convert inorganic components of the waste substantially to molten material;

    means for withdrawing gas from said processing chamber as an off-gas;

    thermally insulated conduit means for maintaining the off-gas at an effective temperature to substantially prevent the formation of complex organic compounds;

    means for removing said molten material from said processing chamber;

    first monitoring means for monitoring the amount of carbon particulate entrained in the off-gas;

    means for injecting an oxidant into said processing chamber in an amount effective to convert a majority of said carbon particulate to carbon monoxide;

    means responsive to said first monitoring means for controlling the amount of oxidant injected into said processing chamber so as to minimize the formation of carbon particulate; and

    means for rapidly cooling the off-gas from said effective temperature to a temperature of less than about 150°

    C. and for separating the particulate from the cooled off-gas to form a product gas.

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