Take some hazardous waste - say, chemical residuals - and put it through a mobile Plasma Enhanced Melter (PEM) and, presto, you've got hydrogen-rich syngas, useful for all sorts of things. What things, you might want to know? Well, InEnTec Chemical, the company behing the PEM system, said in a statement (available after the jump) that the syngas can be used to make "high purity hydrogen, methanol, hydrogen/carbon monoxide ("HyCO"), and other products used by chemical and refining plants." It'll be a while before InEnTec hydrogen from hazardous waste powers your Clarity, though. InEnTec recently demonstrated the technology to "four of the world's largest chemical companies" but is not yet up and running anywhere in the U.S. The first application here looks like it will be at a Dow Corning plant (operated by Veolia Environmental Services) in Midland, Michigan. Global Plasma in Taiwan has apparently been using a PEM to make clean electricity since 2005.
Press Release:

Breakthrough Technology Produces Hydrogen From Chemical Residuals

InEnTec Chemical showcases new hydrogen production process with Air Liquide and Veolia Environmental Services

PORT ARTHUR, Texas, June 6 /PRNewswire/ -- In a major sustainability milestone for the industry, InEnTec Chemical LLC yesterday announced it successfully completed demonstration of its mobile Plasma Enhanced Melter(TM) (PEM(TM)) system for four of the world's largest chemical companies to produce ultra clean, hydrogen rich synthesis gas (referred to as "syngas") from chemical residuals that would normally be treated as hazardous waste and incinerated. This follows a recent announcement by Dow Corning to adopt InEnTec Chemical's technology for application at its Midland Michigan plant.

"We are excited to be able to help some of the nation's leading chemical companies meet their commercial sustainability goals," said Gary Cook, Chief Executive Officer of InEnTec Chemical. "This is the beginning of a new era -- the commercialization of transforming hazardous waste into valuable products. As far as we know, no one has previously found a way to extract the chemical or product value out of these materials on a commercial scale."

The demonstrations showed that organic residuals can be easily processed in the PEM(TM) to produce a high quality syngas. The syngas can be used to make high purity hydrogen, methanol, hydrogen/carbon monoxide ("HyCO"), and other products used by chemical and refining plants. The use of chemical residuals as feedstock to produce hydrogen and other products reduces the amount of non-renewable natural gas that would otherwise be used to make these products.

"This successful demonstration helps pave the way for development of InEnTec Chemical's first commercial hydrogen production facility that will begin deployment later this year," said Cook.

Veolia Environmental Services, one of the world's leading providers of environmental services, hosted the demonstrations in Port Arthur, Texas, and has entered an agreement with InEnTec Chemical to operate certain PEM(TM) facilities. Air Liquide Large Industries U.S. LP, a subsidiary of leading global industrial gas company Air Liquide has signed a letter of intent with InEnTec Chemical to supply industrial gases to InEnTec Chemical's planned facility and to purchase the hydrogen generated by that facility.

"InEnTec Chemical's technology presents a significant opportunity for our company and others in industry to help achieve sustainability goals in an environmentally sound way," said Chris Clark, Senior Vice President, Air Liquide Large Industries U.S. LP. "We look forward to supplying InEnTec with industrial gases for its projects and to incorporating the hydrogen from its process into our portfolio as an environmentally friendly and commercially viable alternative."

Participation by leading chemical companies in InEnTec Chemical's demonstration underscores their commitment to implementing economically viable and environmentally beneficial solutions to produce sustainable products and reduce their environmental impact.

InEnTec Chemical's PEM(TM) system has been proven effective with a broad variety of feedstocks. Several PEM(TM) systems have been installed or are in progress:

  1. In 2003, Kawasaki Heavy Industries purchased a PEM(TM) system that it has demonstrated in Japan for the destruction of PCBs and asbestos, and Kawasaki is now developing commercial facilities using PEM(TM) systems.
  2. Since 2005, Global Plasma in Taiwan has been using InEnTec's technology to convert medical waste into syngas that is used to produce clean electric power.
  3. In October 2007, InEnTec Chemical's parent company announced a 10-year contract with Dow Corning Corporation in Midland, Michigan to convert about 20 tons per day of Dow Corning's hazardous waste into clean syngas and hydrochloric acid. Veolia Environmental Services will operate that facility.

InEnTec Chemical's technology has been approved for various uses by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Japan and Taiwan environmental regulatory agencies, and many U.S. states. Please visit http://www.inentec.com/certifications.html for a list of all agency approvals.

About InEnTec Chemical LLC

InEnTec Chemical LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of InEnTec LLC (formerly Integrated Environmental Technologies LLC), which was formed by scientists from MIT, Battelle, and GE. Through its proprietary gasification system, the Plasma Enhanced Melter(TM), InEnTec Chemical produces clean renewable products (such as hydrogen, methanol, and syngas) from virtually any organic material, including residuals currently managed as industrial and hazardous wastes. Learn more at www.inentec.com and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soYpZIPkjDs.

About Air Liquide

Air Liquide Large Industries U.S. LP is the subsidiary of American Air Liquide Holdings, Inc. responsible for serving large industry in the U.S. It offers gas and energy solutions to large industry to improve their process efficiency and help them with their environmental responsibilities. American Air Liquide Holdings, Inc. is the subsidiary of Air Liquide responsible for its North American operations. With more than 40,000 employees in 75 countries, Air Liquide is the world leader in industrial and medical gases and related services and is committed to sustainable development through its offerings of innovative solutions based on constantly enhanced technologies. Its products and services are used in the manufacturing of a variety of essential everyday products. For more information, visit www.airliquide.com

About Veolia Environmental Services in North America

Veolia Environmental Services North America Corp., headquartered in Lombard, IL, offers fully integrated environmental solutions to virtually all industrial, commercial, municipal and residential sectors. It is part of the Veolia Environmental Services (VES) group, the only global manager of liquid, solid, non-hazardous and hazardous waste; on-site waste processing, industrial cleaning and process maintenance; and recycling, recovery and disposal for both the public and private sectors. VES has over 92,000 employees in 42 countries and posted revenues of $13.6 billion in 2007. Veolia Environment (NYSE:VE) , the parent of VES, with operations in water, waste, energy and transportation management, has more than 320,000 employees in 68 countries and recorded revenues of $48 billion in 2007. For more information, please visit www.VeoliaES.com.

[Source: InEnTec Chemical LLC]

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