Tetronics International, headquartered in Swindon, has been awarded a contract by government agency the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) to develop its technology after a successful concept study phase.
Tetronics uses plasma arc technology to process challenging waste streams to make them safe. The current demonstration project with Dstl will involve simulated chemical agents and agent precursors being subjected to the plasma arc destruction in a specially designed chamber, to rapidly react or transform the hazardous agents eliminating the hazards. The plasma arc chamber uses intense temperature and ultra-violet light to maximize the destruction of hazardous components in seconds.
The new contract is the second stage of a phased development project led by Dstl. Assuming successful demonstration of the application of the core plasma process in phase two of the project, the next phase will involve packaging the technology to make it transportable, so it can be quickly deployed to different locations around the world.
Tetronics says its transportable technology offers potential benefits over traditional destruction methods such as fixed incineration or hydrolysis operations, and this concept could also have applications for other toxic materials.
Earlier this year Tetronics signed of a deal to provide its plasma arc technology to waste management firm Duncan Recycling & Refining to recover precious metals from catalytic converters found in cars.