There is a big network of Health Care Institutions in India. The hospital waste like body parts, organs, tissues, blood and body fluids along with soiled linen, cotton, bandage and plaster casts from infected and contaminated areas are very essential to be properly collected, segregated, stored, transported, treated and disposed of in safe manner to prevent nosocomial or hospital acquired infection.
Health care waste is a heterogeneous mixture, which is very difficult to manage as such. But the problem can be simplified and its dimension reduced considerably if a proper management system is planned.
This is a high temperature thermal process employing combustion of the waste under controlled condition for converting them into inert material and gases. Incinerators can be oil fired or electrically powered or a combination thereof. Broadly, three types of incinerators are used for hospital waste: multiple hearth type, rotary kiln and controlled air types. All the types can have primary and secondary combustion chambers to ensure optimal combustion. These are refractory lined.
Non-incineration treatment includes four basic processes: thermal, chemical, irradiative, and biological. The majority of non-incineration technologies employ the thermal and chemical processes. The main purpose of the treatment technology is to decontaminate waste by destroying pathogens. Facilities should make certain that the technology could meet state criteria for disinfection.
In the first type (Gravity type), air is evacuated with the help of gravity alone. The system operates with temperature of 121 deg. C. and steam pressure of15 psi. For 60-90 minutes. Vacuum pumps are used to evacuate air from the Pre vacuum autoclave system so that the time cycle is reduced to 30-60 minutes. It operates at about 132 deg. C. Retort type autoclaves are designed much higher steam temperature and pressure. Autoclave treatment has been recommended for microbiology and biotechnology waste, waste sharps, soiled and solid wastes. This technology renders certain categories (mentioned in the rules) of bio-medical waste innocuous and unrecognizable so that the treated residue can be land filled.
Plasma pyrolysis is a state-of-the-art technology for safe disposal of medical waste. It is an environment-friendly technology, which converts organic waste into commercially useful byproducts. The intense heat generated by the plasma enables it to dispose all types of waste including municipal solid waste, biomedical waste and hazardous waste in a safe and reliable manner. Medical waste is pyrolysed into CO, H2, and hydrocarbons when it comes in contact with the plasma-arc. These gases are burned and produce a high temperature (around 1200oC).