Pyrolysis Deemed a Viable Alternative to Incinceration

Researchers at the University of York have concluded that PyroPure (UK) technology has the capacity to alter the way in which toxic waste is destroyed in clinical environments and state pharmacists, hospitals and manufacturers across the united kingdom should consider trialling the system.

The statement follows a six month Innovate UK-funded Knowledge Transfer Partnership project where a team of scientists in the University’s Environment Department and Centre of Excellence in Mass Spectroscopy verified that the system helped to destroy active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) found within pharmaceutical waste onsite.

A total of 17 of the most populous resistant APIs were chosen to the trial, which demonstrated that PyroPure technologies destroys over 99 percent of APIs at 10 of the 17 examined and an average of 94 percent of the’worst case’ pharmaceuticals. On the long run of PyroPure as an alternative to high temperature incineration, he remarks:

“There are big issues over the negative effects of pharmaceuticals in the natural surroundings. Inappropriate disposal of pharmaceuticals and emissions from production sites are thought to be important contributors to those impacts. Our work shows that PyroPure could cut the levels of pharmaceuticals in rivers and streams and also have big benefits for ecosystem wellbeing. The system also supplies a variety of other environmental and economic benefits that could radically change how waste of this nature is collected and destroyed going forwards. With PyroPure technologies, toxic waste and controlled materials no longer need to be hauled throughout the nation to incineration facilities, thereby reducing the associated costs, carbon emissions and dangers associated with transferring waste from the point of origin to its point of disposal.”

Currently in the united kingdom, pharmaceutical wastes are just disposed of in large scale, high-temperature incinerators, which can be up to 200 miles away from where the waste is created. The Environment Agency has indicated that PyroPure, which is based on pyrolysis, a thermochemical decomposition process utilizing high temperatures and a lack of oxygen, followed by catalytic conversion to clean and convert the gases, could be the first viable option to high-temperature incineration for liquid wastes.

About the trial’s success, Peter Selkirk, PyroPure Ltd’s Executive Chairman, adds:”This is a massive step forward for PyroPure technology and the healthcare sector. For too long we have been too determined by incineration as the only viable route in which to dispose of toxic waste. Not only is it expensive but it’s also open to security breaches, especially when the waste needs to be hauled long distances. Now PyroPure is an established technology I’m confident that this breakthrough will pave the way for a new approach to waste disposal and irrevocably change the version for waste collection in clinical environments throughout the world.”

The trial, which made a Knowledge Transfer Partnership involving PyroPure Ltd and the University, also demonstrated how onsite energy recovery during the PyroPure process is at least 75 percent compared with 20 percent for a high-temperature incinerator. The user simply opens the device’s lid and places the waste within the room before beginning the process of pyrolysis to destroy it.

The trial, which formed a Knowledge Transfer Partnership between PyroPure Ltd and the University, also revealed how on-site energy recovery during the PyroPure process is at least 75 per cent compared with 20 per cent for a high-temperature incinerator.

Each PyroPure unit is the size of a chest freezer. The user simply opens the unit’s lid and places the waste within the chamber before initiating the process of pyrolysis to destroy it.