ArcSec Technologies Inc. (AST) is a leading edge technology company in the waste-to-energy sector, utilizing a plasma arc graphite electrode gasification process developed over the past 30 years. The AST team has more than 200 years of combined experience in plasma technology and the waste sector. The AST process is innovative and inventive and is superior to other waste gasification processes with several advantages. It uses an AC Graphite Electrode Arc process that is a significant enhancement over DC and AC plasma torches as well as over the DC Graphite Electrode process used by most of AST’s competitors. It also has a lower capital cost than similar capacity plants built with the other plasma technologies. Plus there are lower operating costs with the AST system. Finally, the Vera designed Feeder system, based on systems he designed for solid waste water treatment plants, accepts waste without pretreatment or presorting which is something no other plasma gasifier can do.  The AST technology can process any type of waste, including but not limited to industrial solid waste (ISW), municipal solid waste (MSW), medical waste, e-waste, and most hazardous wastes. In doing so it converts one hundred per cent of the incoming waste to commercial products with nothing going to a landfill and no greenhouse gas emissions. The syngas produced in the AST process can be used to generate power or can be converted to biofuels or other chemicals. The molten metal is made into quality pigs, billets and ingots and the slag is made into high-quality rock wool.

Members of the ArcSec team are responsible for improving and manufacturing the world’s most reliable and efficient DC plasma torch in the 1980s, as well as supplying the first torch ever used for gasification of MSW by the Canadian company RCL Inc., long before it was acquired by Plasco in 2005. The team also introduced the first use of the Russian AC plasma torch, when A. Rutberg, and R. Vera worked with the team that built the first AC plasma torch gasifier to destroy contraband for US Customs in 2001. Vera and Rutberg further commercialized the AC plasma torch over the next five years with a couple of other installations in Taiwan.  From previous work with steel mills, and working with both AC and DC furnaces, the team adapted the AC Graphite electrode process used in the metallurgical industry for waste gasification.  The graphite arc plasma process has three major advantages over the plasma torch technique used by most competitors. First plasma torches need to be water-cooled meaning that 30% to 50% of the energy input is lost to the cooling water. Second, plasma graphite arc designs have far greater scalability than torch-based systems. Torches are limited to a maximum 1.5MW to 2MW per torch, while graphite arc examples from the steel industry have capacities of 140MW to 150MW. Finally, the up-front capital cost of a graphite arc system is much less. Plasma torch designs cost in the range of $2m to $3m per MW whereas the AST AC Graphite Electrode design costs one-tenth of that. Finally, due to Vera’s patented innovative feeder design an AST plasma plant does not require feedstock to be pre-treated by either shredding or baling of waste before entering the furnace chamber. Vera built the first ever test unit for the process at PWR. Vera also brought in Rutberg, Moore, and Lindsey to create the world’s most inventive and experienced team in plasma gasification, with no exceptions. Today that same team forms the core technical team at ArcSec Technologies.

The AST business model has two components:

  • AST – Pilot: AST is raising capital to build a 5MW commercial and demo (240 ton/day of MSW) facility in Alabama. 5MW is the smallest plant size that can be built utilizing AST’s AC Graphite Electrode process. The plant will transform a variety of waste streams including MSW, tires, ASR, car manufacturing waste, steel mill fines and other steel mill and foundry waste into net power from syngas, and by-products like steel billets, metal pigs, and rock wool. The plant will operate as a commercial manufacturer for about 300-330 days per year with a positive cash flow, generating profits in excess of $5 million per annum. Otherwise the facility will serve as a pilot capable of running trials on a wide range of waste streams, as well as for customer demonstrations.
  • AST – Engineering: The second part of the AST business is the design and engineering consultancy. AST – Engineering is engaged in the design, development, manufacturing, licensing, and sales of proprietary devices and equipment, for creating graphite plasma arc gasification facilities for the treatment of waste materials, mainly industrial and municipal solid wastes. Many former clients have expressed a keen interest in dedicating their waste to an AST plant. Some clients have stayed very close to the technical team for over seven years now and are ready to build their own AST gasification plant even before the commercial plant in Alabama is operational. The AST pipeline is for 31 projects over the next ten years. Ten of the 31 are expected to be joint ventures, generating close to one billion dollars of EBITDA over the decade. Twenty-one projects are sales projected to produce around $500 million in revenue from equipment sales, engineering services, and project management for clients. AST is beginning an MSW gasification project in the Hunter Valley region of Australia to gasify 500 tpd of MSW at the first stage, expanding it into a 2700 tpd facility by the end of 2021. In addition, AST is close to receiving a few more Letters of Intent from some other municipalities along with long-term intake agreements for MSW feedstock. AST- Engineering is where the exponential earnings growth of ArcSec comes from. Once prospective clients have accepted the technology, as demonstrated by the demo/pilot plant, we believe they will then place an order with AST for a full-scale commercial plant, either owned by them or as a joint venture with AST and the financing partner (e.g. private equity).

The commercial pilot plant will be located near Birmingham, Alabama. Permitting should be streamlined because of much work that has already been done with local commissions, and there are several waste streams already verbally committed to the site. The commercial/demo plant is the pre-condition and the catalyst that allows for the real growth of AST to happen by the demonstration of the AST process to potential customers.

The AST technology is transformational and has the potential to provide low cost clean energy while simultaneously cleaning the environment with a cost effective method of waste disposal and reclamation.  The ability to reclaim industrial waste streams and even to mine old landfills in an economical fashion is the holy grail of the reclamation industry. The potential is literally immense.  For example, the AST gasification process greatly improves the efficiency of large coal fired power plants, including high sulfur coal.  By using AST’s technology, the amount of electricity that can be produced per ton of coal is greater than the amount of electricity that can be generated by conventional methods.  This also reduces the amount of greenhouse gases being released per MW of electricity generated.

Because any type of waste is amenable to the AST technology, the list of potential applications is enormous. Flexibility in a difficult market environment with fluctuating commodity prices and changing political winds is not a problem for AST. ArcSec Technologies is well positioned to provide solutions to waste-to-energy/commodity problems both now and in the future across a broad spectrum of industries worldwide.