A number of technologies on treatment of various types of waste from low toxic to supertoxic ones with the help of arc and barrier discharges are discussed in the paper.
The whys and wherefores and estimations of application of the methods for various waste types (solid, liquid) of different degree of toxicity are represented.
Different types of DC and AC arcs are analyzed The expediency of their application for various technologies (combustion in plasma reactors, melt use, etc.) are considered. The character of interaction of arc discharges and barrier discharges, types of radiation, capability of selective action on the substance, positive and negative character of these actions are discussed.
Various types of plasma generators and other devices created on the basis of arc and barrier discharges intended for waste treatment are classified. Plasma pyrolysis of waste containing a great amount of organic substances is examined separately, from the point of view of syn-gas production for its further use for power generation. Parameters of plasma pyrolysis units of different capacity (0.1-5 t/h), requirements to power and character of necessary plasma-generating equipment are estimated.