1. What is Plasma?
Plasma is an ionized gas, and is a distinct state of matter in contrast to gases. "Ionized" means that at least one electron has been dissociated from, or added to, a proportion of the atoms or molecules. The free electric charges make the plasma electrically conductive so that it responds strongly to electromagnetic fields.
2. Isn't this "Plasma Gasification" process the same as incineration? Does the plasma gasification process "burn" the waste?
Incineration and Plasma are different techniques. Incineration involves direct combustion whereas in plasma is the waste passes through a very high temperature regime created by the plasma.
3. What is the difference between Plasma Gasification and standard gasification?
In plasma treatment process, the waste passes through a very high temperature regime created by the plasma. This process is industrially expensive and perhaps more suited to hazardous waste.
4. Why hasn't Plasma Gasification been done before?
It is being attempted in India at laboratory scale. Experiments are being done in a national laboratory funded by the Department of Science and Technology, GoI.
5. Is the electricity produced by plasma gasification "green electricity"?
This is currently a research and development task.
6. What is the Basel Convention?
In the late 1980s, a tightening of environmental regulations in industrialized countries led to a dramatic rise in the cost of hazardous waste disposal. Searching for cheaper ways to get rid of the wastes, “toxic traders” began shipping hazardous waste to developing countries and to Eastern Europe. When this activity was revealed, international outrage led to the drafting and adoption of the Basel Convention. For more details refer to http://www.basel.int/pub/basics.html