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Plasma gasification is a process which converts organic matter into synthetic gas , [ 1 ] electricity, [ 2 ] and slag [ 1 ] using plasma . A plasma torch powered by an electric arc is used to ionize gas and catalyze organic matter into synthetic gas and solid waste ( slag ). [ 1 ] [ 3 ] [ 4 ] It is used commercially as a form of waste treatment and has been tested for the gasification of biomass and solid hydrocarbons , such as coal , oil sands , and oil shale . [ 3 ] [ edit ] Process A plasma torch uses inert gas such as steam. The electrodes vary from copper or tungsten to hafnium or zirconium , along with various other alloys .