Pyrolysis process is a thermal disintegration of organic material into lower hydrocarbons particularly in the absence of oxygen. It results in the formation of combustible gases, organic liquid, char and tar in varying quantity depending upon the feed composition, heating rate, temperature of pyrolysis and residence time. The amount of char and tar formation reduces as the pyrolysis temperature increases. The temperature of plasma zone is approx. 5000°C and the surrounding temperature is 600°C–1200°C.
In plasma pyrolysis the most likely compounds which are produced include carbonaceous matter, methane, carbon monoxide, hydrogen, carbon dioxide and water molecules. These product gases are combustible. The exhaust gases generated on combusting the product gases include CO2, N2, H2O.
The product gases recovered has calorific and commercial values. These gases can be used as a heat source or as fuel. The amount of gas recovered depends solely upon type of waste and amount of waste. As the system can recover energy from the waste while safely disposing it, plasma pyrolysis can be treated as the ultimate waste management and recycling technology.