Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Fuel from Garbage

PostedJune 7, 2009

Download File (mp3)

Randy Atkins: It’s called plasma-gasification.  Jeff Surma, an engineer who helped invent the process is now C-E-O of S-4 Energy Solutions, which will do the work that subjects confined garbage to an artificial lightening bolt.

Jeff Surma: The high temperatures generated by that controlled bolt of lightening break down waste material that is introduced into that chamber, re-forming it into a very clean synthetic fuel.  

Randy Atkins: The fuel, called “syngas,” is the basic building block of many other fuels, including gasoline.  And leftovers?  

Jeff Surma: What normally would go into an ash form in an incineration or combustion process, gets converted into a recyclable glass-like product.

Randy Atkins: Surma says the procedure allows almost 100% recycling of waste.  With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, 103 point 5 F-M and WTOP-dot-com.