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Lab & Facilities

Centro Sviluppo Materiali S.p.A.  supports its capability for Environment & Energy technologies development through a set of pilot plants based on the following advanced technologies:


Plasma Torches consist of a heating device supplied with a small inert gas flow rate which flows through an electric arc. The gas, usually Argon, undergoes the breaking of molecular and atomic bonds assuming the so called state of plasma, typical of the composition of the sun and stars, formed by a mixture of ions, electrons and neutral particles. The plasma reaches extremely high temperatures (7,000÷10,000°C) and it is then able to supply heat by a very high intensity radiation.

Application sectors:
  • Vetrification of inorganic hazardous waste (e.g. asbestos, fly hashes from Municipal Solid Waste Incinerators)
  • Thermodestruction and valorisation of organic hazardous waste (e.g. oils containing PCBs)
  • Advantages in the applications on waste:
    High temperatures and high thermal fluxes produced allow to accomplish heating with thermal gradients of about 1000 °C/s, generating in this way very efficient flash pyrolisis processes for the fission of complex molecules of hazardous organic waste (e.g. PCBs, pesticides) or the vetrification of inorganic hazardous waste (e.g. asbestos, fly ashes). In particular the risk of a subsequent molecule recombination with the formation of extremely toxic products, such as dioxins and furans is minimised. Since Plasma Torches are not burners, they do not produce flue gas and then the syngas obtained from application on organic waste consists only of the dissociated elements of the treated materials (basically Hydrogen and Carbon, in some cases converted to Carbon Monoxide) without dilution with the exhaust gas or with Nitrogen present in the air. As a consequence, the calorific value is higher; besides char and tar formation is very low.
  • The high power density and the low quantity of gaseous products to be treated allow to carry out extremely compact plants, very suitable to application with low room available (i.e. ships, small islands, villages, hospitals).

CSM Plasma Torches

CSM Plasma Torches have been designed on the basis of the experimental experiences as well as the exploitation of thermal fluid dynamic numerical models; such a proprietary know how has been covered by international patents. The extensive experimentation carried out on its own plants allows CSM to assure stable working conditions for several hundreds of hours, depending on the waste treated; substitution and restoration are quick and economical, too. During the scheduled maintenance stops, torch replacement is in fact very fast (only few minutes) and the workshop restoration, mainly regarding a limited number of stressed components like electrode tips and nozzles, can be done by not specialized staff. The material choice has been made taking into account the energy balance optimisation as well, that is the ratio between energy absorbed by the torches and the one actually emitted.

CSM Reactors
For an effective exploitation of Plasma Torches, it is necessary to properly study the reactor in which they must work. In fact, depending on the waste typology to be treated, the solutions that favour heat transfer from torches to waste and the consequent chemical kinetics have to be found each time: only a correct coupling torches/reactor can assure an high process productivity and, as a consequence, low running costs. CSM has developed thermal fluid dynamic models that allow the designers to optimise both structure and materials choice for the reactors, too.

CSM Plasma Torch Plants

At CSM Rome headquarters two Plasma Torch plants completely designed and constructed by CSM are working. The first one is an extremely flexible 500 kW pilot plan, on which since several years experimental campaigns are carried out for industrial and institutional customers to assess and widen plasma torch employment on different wastes: domestic and industrial, solid and liquid, special and hazardous, organic and inorganic. For the waste charging it is possible to use both a system for solid material and some special sprays for liquid, constructed according to solutions patented by CSM.


Besides, an effective flue gas treatment system can be easily installed using a set of modules (post-combustor, cyclone separator, quencher, simple or double filter, dry or washing tower acid abatement) that allows then to treat both organic and inorganic waste.


CSM has carried out a series of experimental testing on its transferred arc plasma torch plants, treating different waste typologies, urban and industrial, organic and inorganic. They have been performed using the plants 24 hours a day, with an average continuative duration of 200 hours. The most important ones regards PCBs (Polychlorinated Biphenyls) and Fly Ashes from Municipal Solid Waste Incinerators.


The second CSM Plasma Torch plant is a 1 MW mobile plant designed specifically for Asbestos-Containing Waste (ACW). The whole system consists of six modules easily transportable which allow the outdoor use without the need of ancillary services. To work the plant needs electric energy which can be also produced by a generator, and tanks of LPG, Argon and water. On the mobile plant experimental tests on various typologies of asbestos (flock, panels, ropes, slabs, sheathings) are carried out. The treatment capacity reached by the plant is equal to 1 m3/h (about 300 kg/h).


Rotary Kiln is a very proved technology in the field of waste combustion, flexible and reliable for a wide range of waste.
CSM is involved in the development of the rotary kiln concept aiming at finding innovative solutions for waste thermal treatments different form combustion (pyrolisis, gasification, desorption, etc.).

Application sectors:
  • Gasification of organic wastes;
  • Thermal desorption of contaminated soils;
  • Regeneration of exhaust catalysts.

Advantages in the applications on wastes:
  • The innovation solutions developed by CSM allow the application of rotary kiln reactors for gasification and volatization processes on several typologies of waste (both organic and inorganic) with material and energy recovery.
  • CSM Rotary Kiln Plants
    At CSM Rome headquarters two Rotary Kiln plants completely designed and built by CSM are working. The first one is an indirect heating plant.
  • CSM Rotary Kiln Plants
    The second CSM Rotary kiln plant is provided with a flexible reactor which is arranged to operate for direct or indirect heating and Equicurrent or countercurrent fluxes.
  • CSM Rotary Kiln Gasificator
    A third innovation Rotary kiln plant is in construction. It has been designed for the gasification of  ASR (Automotive Shredder Residue). The syngas will be used in a thermal motor and an alternator will produce electrical energy.


This plant is based on the EAF technology. It can be equipped with innovative solutions in terms of electrodes or feeding systems (perforated electrode, snorkel feeding system, under slag feeding system).

Application sectors:
  • Recovery of metals from electric furnace dusts
  • Thermal destruction of liquid wastes
  • Liquid steel/slag interaction studies
Advantages in the applications on waste:
  • High efficient thermal processes for metal recovery with low level carry over
  • High process temperature during the inertization of slag
  • Injection of liquid wastes and oils with reduction of electrode consumption.

© 2014 - Centro Sviluppo Materiali S.p.A. Via di Castel Romano, 100 - 00128 - Rome - ITALY
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