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The technology and execution of plasmachemical disinfection of hazardous medical waste

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5 Author(s)
Ph. G. Rutberg ; Inst. of Problems of Electrophys., Russian Acad. of Sci., St. Petersburg, Russia ; A. N. Bratsev ; A. A. Safronov ; A. V. Surov
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This report describes the technology used for plasma-chemical disinfection of hazardous medical waste (HMW), which employs high-temperature mineralization. This method uses low-temperature plasma produced in a plasma generator as an additional source of heat energy. The method not only neutralizes medical waste, but it also reduces by 50-400 times the volume of waste being buried. The waste-combustion process includes the following stages: two-stage combustion in the furnace at a temperature of 1000°C-1200°C and in the afterburning chamber at a temperature of 1200°C-1300°C, with dwell time of flue gases no less than 2 s; obligatory quenching (fast cooling) of flue gases; multistage cleaning of flue gases of fly ash, vapors of heavy metals, acid gases, and, if necessary, dioxins and furans; automated control of mode parameters, ejection into the atmosphere and control of all technological processes; low-consumption factors on energy and used reagents. The installation is designed for treatment of 150 kg/h of HMW and it employs a rotary kiln with parallel-current flow of burned waste and incandescent gases for plasma combustion of the waste. This allows the burning waste to be constantly mixed, which prevents fusion or baking into layers, and thus intensifies the processes of heat and mass exchange. Waste is supplied into the furnace periodically through the system of trays using pneumatic pushers. Two plasma generators are mounted on the loading end of the furnace, and one is mounted on the afterburning chamber. Slag is unloaded from the furnace by quenching it with water. After quenching, cooling, and discharging the slag, it is disposed of. The gas cleaning system consists of a Venturi scrubber, a packed-bed scrubber, a demister, and an absorber. This technological process solves several problems involved in collecting, packing, and disposing of HMW by automating the loading processes, organizing combustion regimes, and cleaning flue gases.

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IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science  (Volume:30 ,  Issue: 4 )