MICROWAVE REMEDIATION OF HAZARDOUS MEDICAL WASTES
Small Business Information
ASHWIN-USHAS CORPORATION, INC., 206 TICONDEROGO BLVD, FREEHOLD, NJ, 07728
AbstractDESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This project proposes to build and test a 20 L capacity Remediator for medical wastes. Infectious Medical Wastes (IMW), mainly from hospitals, represents a major component of hazardous wastes generated in the U.S.. In f act, more than 4.5 million tons are generated per year. Hospital waste remediation was a 1.5 billion industry in 2003. Incineration remains the predominant disposal method, with continued problems of environmental pollution, severe local opposition, trans portation, high costs and the threat of recent (1997) laws shutting down incinerators. This firm recently demonstrated a novel technique for remediation of IMW that involves submersing the IMW in proprietary liquids that are specifically activated by micro waves to generate antimicrobial and antiviral activity in a manner as or more effective than an autoclave. This technique uses unique, microwave-active liquids, proprietary microwave enhancers and simple, ambient-pressure techniques. It yields an extremely inexpensive, rapid, environmentally benign, local, point-of-service methodology for remediation of IMW, usable much as a local-area photocopier or shredder. The Phase 1 work further developed this, demonstrating application to a wide variety of mixed IMW, including metallic parts, bandages, gloves, cotton, etc. and actual hospital wastes. Typically, 400 g of wastes in 650 mL of microwave liquid could be remediated in 7 minutes using a 1.1 KW oven, with final weight/-volume reductions to lt 15% of original. Detailed analyses of thermal degradation products of the microwave liquid and wastes showed none. A mechanical prototype of a Remediator was built and a fully-microwave-functional prototype was designed and evaluated. AOAC Sporicidal Tests and microwave-v s.-heat-only tests were also done in the prior work. In the proposed Phase 2 work, a fully functional Remediator will be built, tested and refined, to arrive at a design suitable for handing over to a large contract manufacturer. AOAC Sporicidal and quanti tative tests and tests with actual hospital wastes will be used to verify performance, along with comparisons with extant benchmark methods. The work is a collaborative effort with a highly specialized microwave design company, one of the world's premier u niversity microwave chemistry groups, the Regional Bio-Defense Lab, and a large hospital. Estimated remediation costs are 900/ton for this firm's technology, vs. 2900/ton for incineration, and more for microwave-steam methods. This firm's technology's es timated capital cost is less than 8 K for a 30 kg/hr throughput, as compared to 18 K for on-site autoclaving and 80 K for microwave-steam. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: The technology could, potentially, entirely replace incineration of medical wastes (alrea dy beset with public health problems) as well as expensive methods such as in-situ autoclaving and microwave-steaming, yielding an inexpensive, environmentally benign, and local, point-of-service method for medical waste remediation, to great public benefi t [1-26]. Independent studies [2-4] show it could initially (within 5 years) capture about 10% to 30% of the more than 2 billion (in 2008) medical waste remediation market, possibly more subsequently. This firm's technology's estimated running costs are 1 /3 to 1/6 that of other methods, its capital costs are 1/3 to 1/10 of other methods, and, in contrast to other methods which (with the exception of incineration) leave a large amount of residual waste, it leaves less than 15% of the original volume of wast e.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.