Joseph Longo's Plasma Converter turns our most vile and toxic trash into clean energy-and promises to make a relic of the landfill.
It sounds as if someone just dropped a tricycle into a meat grinder. I'm sitting inside a narrow conference room at a research facility in Bristol, Connecticut, chatting with Joseph Longo, the founder and CEO of Startech Environmental Corporation. As we munch on takeout Subway sandwiches, a plate-glass window is the only thing separating us from the adjacent lab, which contains a glowing caldera of 'plasma' three times as hot as the surface of the sun. Every few minutes there's a horrific clanking noise'grinding followed by a thunderous voomp, like the sound a gas barbecue makes when it first ignites. 'Is it supposed to do that?' I ask Longo nervously. 'Yup,' he says. 'That's normal.'