The alternative methods for the treatment of medical waste, instead of the incineration by the hospital itself include non-incineration technologies, like: steam autoclaving, chemical treatment, microwave, infrared radiation, gamma radiation and combustion technologies, like: plasma, pyrolysis and gasification systems. The combination with recovery of energy (cotton), the re-use and the recycling of plastics (40% of the waste) of glass and metals becomes possible. The technical and economic feasibility depends on the successful implementation of effective machines for the on-site treatment at the point of waste generation. It improves the safety of the workers and reduces the transport of hazardous waste. The technical and economic problem is the optimal combination of the Health aspects (inactivating microorganisms) and the environmental (identification, sorting, recovery, re-use and recycling of material or energy) safety (operations), logistic (transport, packaging, reduction of volume) and economic (costs) aspects. An optimal solution has not been developed yet. It needs research. The first research objective is: to find the best technology or combination of technologies for the systematic solution of this problems, especially the level of microbial inactivation and the effectiveness of inactivating microorganisms in combination with the re-use and recycling (recovery of usable substances from toxic waste). The second research objective is: to combine this solution with the following special needs from health care institutions: miniaturisation, the monitoring of the disinfection process, automatic shut-down, improved logistics, automatic loading, un-loading and packaging, emission control and sorting and selection for the re-use or recyciing of waste and the recovery of energy. The third research objective is: to develop a prototype for the validation of the process.
Funding SchemeEAW - Exploratory awards