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Project 2: Development of Plasma Gasification / Pyrolysis for Disposal of Medical Wastes

 

            Currently, Thailand has more than 37,000 healthcare organizations, which consist of hospitals, public health centers, community health centers, and clinics, with more than 140,000 beds. On average, 0.5 - 0.8 kilograms of medical waste occur per bed per day. In 2012, 42 thousand tons of medical wastes occurred while the number of medical waste incinerators was insufficient causing illegal dumping of such waste in public places or the use of non-standard incinerators. Medical wastes are hazardous and contaminated with serious pathogens, such as diarrhea, parasitic diseases, cholera, and typhoid, which can spread to the community. In addition, medical wastes also contain blood bags, gauze dressings, wipes, syringes, saline bottles, antibiotics, dangerous chemicals, and so on. Such medical wastes will cause pollution to the environment, such as groundwater contamination, contamination in the public water resource, and contamination in the food chain, or dangerous gases, such as dioxin and furan, if burining medical wastes with community wastes in a non-standard incinerator with temperature below 800 ° C [1].



Figure 2.1 If the rate of medical wastes is higher than the rate of waste disposal, illegal dumping in public areas will continue to be seen.
(From: http://www.thaiwaste.com/ขยะของเสีย/ขยะติดเชื้อ-มูลฝอยติดเชื้อ/ and http://news.thaipbs.or.th/content/134121)



            Plasma pyrolysis / gasification technology is the most effective way of waste disposal since plasma temperature is above 1,200° C, and contains high-intensity ultraviolet radiation (UV). The high temperature of plasmas will decompose waste components—plastic, cotton, glass bottles, fabrics, and tissues—or cause pyrolysis / gasification. The by-products produced are fuel gases such as hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and methane. At the same time, heat and UV radiation will completely destroy all pathogens, both normal and heat-resistant pathogens [2 - 5].

 

           This research project aims to develop the knowledge of generation of thermal plasma with temperature in the order of 1,200° C to create a clean technology prototype for the disposal of medical and hazardous wastes from healthcare organizations.

 

References

1. Chantana Maneein, “Solid Waste Management of Local Government Organization” Master Degree Thesis, The National Institute of Development Administration, 2013.
2. S. K. Nema and K. S. Ganeshprasad, Plasma Pyrolysis of Medical Waste, Current Science, Vol. 83, No. 3, 10 August 2002.
3. Umberto Arena, “Process and Technological Aspects of Municipal Solid Waste Gasification, A Review”, Waste Management 32 (2012) 625–639.
4. Ajay Kumar, David D. Jones and Milford A. Hanna, “Thermochemical Biomass Gasification: A Review of the CurrentStatus of the Technology”, Energies 2 (2009) 556-581; doi:10.3390/en20300556
5. H. Boerrigter and R. Rauch, “Review of Applications of Gases from Biomass Gasification”, Handbook Biomass Gasification, published by the Biomass Technology Group, The Netherlands, 2005.

 

Principal Investigator: Assistant Professor Dr. Mudtorlep Nisoa 1)
Collaborators: Dr. Sampart Cheedket 1), Dr. Nopparit Somboomkittichai 2)
Affiliated Institutions: 1) Physics Department, School of Science, Walailak University, 2) Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, Kasetsart University

 

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