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The Northampton (USA) fluidized-bed power station burns high-ash coal waste and some biomass at around 900 degrees Celsius. The large quantity of hot ash discharged is cooled to give some recovery of low-grade heat. I suggest that the ever-increasing problem of plastic and other waste could be dealt with by mixing it with the ash from similar power stations. Plastic would be converted to oil,gas and char. The corrosive chloride content of the waste would  react with the excess lime present in the ash. I have seen an exhibition in London where a cradle from Pompeii was on display. The hot volcanic ash had converted the frame to charcoal. Charcoal formed from waste paper or other organic matter,in my suggested process,could be floated off in water. I live in a scenic area on the south coast of England. Most of our waste is trucked away to a sorting works,at a cost to us of  £19 per tonne. A comparable historic process,to this one,would be the Lurgi-Ruhrgas process. The plant cost is high,but not nearly as much as for a waste incinerator.

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15 hours ago, Richard D said:

The Northampton (USA) fluidized-bed power station burns high-ash coal waste and some biomass at around 900 degrees Celsius. The large quantity of hot ash discharged is cooled to give some recovery of low-grade heat. I suggest that the ever-increasing problem of plastic and other waste could be dealt with by mixing it with the ash from similar power stations. Plastic would be converted to oil,gas and char.

It's a reasonable idea as it stands but I've seen many, similar proposals over the years and I believe that there is a lot more devil in the detail.. Separating the useful elements afterwards, for example, may be difficult to do economically. It may  be easier to simply incinerate the plastics and be done with it, although you will be left with a lot of particulate emissions. Interesting idea, as I said, but I'll await the proof of concept stage..  

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19 hours ago, Richard D said:

The Northampton (USA) fluidized-bed power station burns high-ash coal waste and some biomass at around 900 degrees Celsius. The large quantity of hot ash discharged is cooled to give some recovery of low-grade heat. I suggest that the ever-increasing problem of plastic and other waste could be dealt with by mixing it with the ash from similar power stations. Plastic would be converted to oil,gas and char. The corrosive chloride content of the waste would  react with the excess lime present in the ash. I have seen an exhibition in London where a cradle from Pompeii was on display. The hot volcanic ash had converted the frame to charcoal. Charcoal formed from waste paper or other organic matter,in my suggested process,could be floated off in water. I live in a scenic area on the south coast of England. Most of our waste is trucked away to a sorting works,at a cost to us of  £19 per tonne. A comparable historic process,to this one,would be the Lurgi-Ruhrgas process. The plant cost is high,but not nearly as much as for a waste incinerator.

Richard, when you say "high ash" coal waste, do you mean fly ash?

I know quite a bit about fly ash but not high ash. 

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Not fly ash. The discards from mining called 'culm' in USA.

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