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EUREKA project destroys BSE-infected waste using plasma technology

The European Unions response to recent public health crises such as the BSE outbreak has prompted a EUREKA project to develop a more effective, safer and environmentally friendly method for destroying potentially infected animal wastes.

New EU directives to eradicate BSE have generated such a huge volume of specific risk material (SRM) waste from slaughterhouses that many member countries are struggling to cope. Based on existing methods for treating inorganic waste using plasma technology, EUREKA project E! 2742 PLASMER developed a technique to treat SRM from BSE-infected livestock carcasses by super-heating the waste and breaking down the molecules. Plasma technology is economically viable even on a small scale and can reduce the cost of treating SRM by 20-40%. It can handle any waste in any form, has no toxic by-products and provides a sustainable solution to the SRM waste problem facing the EU.