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Thermal Plasma Treatment of Medical Waste

Authors
  • Cai, Xiaowei1
  • Du, Changming1, 2
  • 1 Sun Yat-sen University,
  • 2 Taizhou Institute of Zhejiang University,
Type
Published Article
Journal
Plasma Chemistry and Plasma Processing
Publisher
Springer US
Publication Date
Sep 07, 2020
Pages
1–46
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s11090-020-10119-6
PMCID: PMC7476648
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

The harmless treatments of medical waste have significantly drawn people’s attention owing to their risks to health-care staff, the public, and the environment. The traditional thermal technology for processing medical waste may cause indispensable secondary pollution such as dioxin, furan, and heavy metals, and infectious materials that may remain in the solid residual. Thermal plasma technologies offer advantages of effectively treating medical waste due to its high temperature and energy density, lower pollutant emissions, rapid start-up and shut-down, and smaller size of the installation. These benefits play roles in the treatment of medical waste on-site or off-site, especially when somewhere encounters an abnormally sharp increase in medical waste. This paper mainly introduces the typical thermal plasma processes of medical waste and its central component, plasma furnace. Meanwhile, how process parameters influence the formed gaseous and solid products, the performances of mass and volume reduction, pathogen destruction, and energy recovery, are discussed in detail. Finally, the mechanism of the thermal plasma process is also analyzed.

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