Air Pollution Technology and Medical Waste


Efficiency

Is medical waste treatment inefficient?

Yes, probably, but mostly because too much waste is classified as infectious. This is caused largely because the people who manage medical waste err on the side of safety The process of treatment – usually heat treatment/incineration is not necessarily inefficient.

Condensers

Upsides

  • Can recover condensed material that might be useful
  • No need to add material to waste stream

Downsides

  • Hard to get pollutants down to very low levels just by condensing
  • Coolant system cost (capital and operating) and complexity

Combustion

Upsides

  • Simple, can destroy a lot of chemical compounds
  • Really efficient destruction of organic contaminants if operated correctly
  • Generation of heat which can be useful.

Downsides

  • High operating costs - fuel, personnel
  • Hazards of playing with fire
  • Potential for incomplete combustion and production of carbon monoxide and other hazardous chemicals such as dioxins

See also air pollution control for medical waste incinerators.