The transmutation of garbage into energy is a particularly modern form of alchemy. We've seen it done on a smaller scale in the past, but now a company called Geoplasma is assembling the country's first plasma refuse plant in St. Lucie County, Florida. Scheduled to go online by 2011, the plant will process 1,500 tons of garbage a day, adding 60 megawatts to the power grid -- enough energy to power 50,000 homes. The plant works by vaporizing refuse with a 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit stream of plasma. The organic components (food, fluids, paper) create a pressurized gas that is then used to turn a turbine, while any inorganic refuse (metals) that may be present condenses, later to be collected for industrial uses. But will it power a Flux Capacitor?

[Via Inhabitat]