• Patent

Plasma furnace disposal of hazardous wastes


Markunas, R., Posthill, J., Hendry, R., & Thomas, R. (2003). IPC No. U.S.Plasma furnace disposal of hazardous wastes (Patent No. 6552295.)


A method and apparatus for plasma waste disposal of hazardous waste material, where the hazardous material is volatilized under vacuum inside a containment chamber to produce a pre-processed gas as input to a plasma furnace including a plasma-forming region in which a plasma-forming magnetic field is produced. The pre-processed gas is passed at low pressure and without circumvention through the plasma-forming region and is directly energized to an inductively coupled plasma state such that hazardous waste reactants included in the pre-processed gas are completely dissociated in transit through the plasma-forming region. Preferably, the plasma-forming region is shaped as a vacuum annulus and is dimensioned such that there is no bypass by which hazardous waste reactants in the pre-processed gas can circumvent the plasma-forming region. The plasma furnace is powered by a high frequency power supply outputting power at a fundamental frequency. The power supply contains parasitic power dissipation mechanisms to prevent non-fundamental, parasitic frequencies from destabilizing the fundamental frequency output power. These power loss mechanisms use either distributed resistance or frequency-selective power-loss devices to prevent parasitic oscillations from instantaneously turning on the high frequency power oscillator at non-fundamental frequencies.