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What if I told you we could attract clean industry, greatly lower taxes for all residents and businesses, have other municipalities all across south western Ontario knocking on our door to give us money, and that this would all grow exponentially, would you be interested in hearing about it?

This is the proposal I prepared when I was a member of the Economic Development Committee Energy.

1. Landfills are yesterday's technology, and becoming more expensive and harder to obtain approval for. Toronto paid $270,000,000.00 just for the land for a landfill site near London, Ontario. We can divert trash from landfill—landfills that pollute the water table and need to be monitored forever.

The new technology is called plasma gasification. (This is not the same as the bio-digester in a neighbouring municipality.) There is no combustion, so there is no smoke, no flames, no leftover ash, no pollution of any kind—all that's left is syngas, the fuel source, and a molten obsidian-like material, metals, and water. The only waste that a plasma converter can't break down is heavy radioactive material. (And this is not the same as "thermal mass technology" like the Durham/York Energy Centre.) No more sorting trash, plastics, glass, metals, biodegradables. It does not burn the trash–it heats it to 27,000 degrees Fahrenheit, leaving behind mostly hydrogen (syngas) that can then be burned like natural gas, only cleaner, producing the electricity to run the plant, and for the benefit of residents and industry in Owen Sound—25% of the energy produced goes to run the plant—and a slag that we can sell to be used in asphalt for our roads, or concrete pouring companies, and out of the bottom we have left metals which can be sold. No more expensive garbage sorting. It breaks everything down to its pure atomic components. We would be paid by other municipalities for their "fuel."

Here's how according to David Wolman of Wired Magazine.

"The household waste delivered into this hangar will get shredded, then travel via conveyer to the top of a large tank. From there it falls into a furnace that's heated to 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit and mixes with oxygen and steam. The resulting chemical reaction vaporizes 75 to 85 percent of the waste, transforming it into a blend of gases known as syngas (so called because they can be used to create synthetic natural gas). The syngas is piped out of the system and segregated. The remaining substances, still chemically intact, descend into a second vessel that's roughly the size of a Volkswagen Beetle.

This cauldron makes the one above sound lukewarm by comparison. Inside, two electrodes aimed toward the middle of the vessel create an electric arc that, at 18,000 degrees, is almost as hot as lightning. This intense, sustained energy becomes so hot that it transforms materials into their constituent atomic elements. The reactions take place at more than 2,700 degrees, which means this isn't incineration—this is emission-free molecular deconstruction. (The small amount of waste material that survives falls to the bottom of the chamber, where it's separated by the heat itself, into metals and a molten glass like aggregate that later hardens into inert blocks.)"

This is the proposal I tried to present when I was a member of the Economic Development Committee. Unfortunately, I was cut off ¼ of the way through by the city manager. He said he had another meeting to go to and that he wasn't going to ask the taxpayers to pay for something like this. And that he was taking the top bureaucrats with him. The presentation was over. (This never happened in the first ten months of presentations.) Hence, there was not even a motion to vote on whether it would be presented to council.

If you have any questions,

Michael Zimon
Owen Sound

[email protected]


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