WO2001037887A1 - Waste treatment apparatus and methods - Google Patents

Waste treatment apparatus and methods Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2001037887A1
WO2001037887A1 PCT/GB2000/004424 GB0004424W WO0137887A1 WO 2001037887 A1 WO2001037887 A1 WO 2001037887A1 GB 0004424 W GB0004424 W GB 0004424W WO 0137887 A1 WO0137887 A1 WO 0137887A1
Authority
WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
chamber
interior
steam
water vapour
outlet conduit
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/GB2000/004424
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Robert Mayberry Marshall
Original Assignee
Robert Mayberry Marshall
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to GBGB9928026.5A priority Critical patent/GB9928026D0/en
Priority to GB9928026.5 priority
Priority to GB9928647.8 priority
Priority to GBGB9928647.8A priority patent/GB9928647D0/en
Application filed by Robert Mayberry Marshall filed Critical Robert Mayberry Marshall
Publication of WO2001037887A1 publication Critical patent/WO2001037887A1/en

Links

Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B09DISPOSAL OF SOLID WASTE; RECLAMATION OF CONTAMINATED SOIL
    • B09BDISPOSAL OF SOLID WASTE
    • B09B3/00Destroying solid waste or transforming solid waste or contaminated solids into something useful or harmless
    • B09B3/0075Disposal of medical waste
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61LMETHODS OR APPARATUS FOR STERILISING MATERIALS OR OBJECTS IN GENERAL; DISINFECTION, STERILISATION, OR DEODORISATION OF AIR; CHEMICAL ASPECTS OF BANDAGES, DRESSINGS, ABSORBENT PADS, OR SURGICAL ARTICLES; MATERIALS FOR BANDAGES, DRESSINGS, ABSORBENT PADS, OR SURGICAL ARTICLES
    • A61L11/00Methods specially adapted for refuse
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61LMETHODS OR APPARATUS FOR STERILISING MATERIALS OR OBJECTS IN GENERAL; DISINFECTION, STERILISATION, OR DEODORISATION OF AIR; CHEMICAL ASPECTS OF BANDAGES, DRESSINGS, ABSORBENT PADS, OR SURGICAL ARTICLES; MATERIALS FOR BANDAGES, DRESSINGS, ABSORBENT PADS, OR SURGICAL ARTICLES
    • A61L2/00Methods or apparatus for disinfecting or sterilising materials or objects other than foodstuffs or contact lenses; Accessories therefor
    • A61L2/02Methods or apparatus for disinfecting or sterilising materials or objects other than foodstuffs or contact lenses; Accessories therefor using physical phenomena
    • A61L2/04Heat
    • A61L2/06Hot gas
    • A61L2/07Steam
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61LMETHODS OR APPARATUS FOR STERILISING MATERIALS OR OBJECTS IN GENERAL; DISINFECTION, STERILISATION, OR DEODORISATION OF AIR; CHEMICAL ASPECTS OF BANDAGES, DRESSINGS, ABSORBENT PADS, OR SURGICAL ARTICLES; MATERIALS FOR BANDAGES, DRESSINGS, ABSORBENT PADS, OR SURGICAL ARTICLES
    • A61L2/00Methods or apparatus for disinfecting or sterilising materials or objects other than foodstuffs or contact lenses; Accessories therefor
    • A61L2/16Methods or apparatus for disinfecting or sterilising materials or objects other than foodstuffs or contact lenses; Accessories therefor using chemical substances
    • A61L2/20Gaseous substances, e.g. vapours
    • A61L2/202Ozone
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B09DISPOSAL OF SOLID WASTE; RECLAMATION OF CONTAMINATED SOIL
    • B09BDISPOSAL OF SOLID WASTE
    • B09B3/00Destroying solid waste or transforming solid waste or contaminated solids into something useful or harmless

Abstract

Material to be treated, such as medical waste is placed in a chamber (3) which is then partially evacuated by a vacuum pump (37) via a mixing chamber (35) and a non-return valve (31). One or more pulses of ozone are applied to the chamber (3) from an ozone generator (22) via a non-return valve (26). After each pulse, ozone is drawn from the chamber (3) by the vacuum pump (37) and mixed with steam or water vapour supplied by a source (34). The chamber (3) is then flushed with steam or water vapour from a source (22) and irradiated by a source (13) of ultraviolet, infrared or microwave radiation.

Description

Waste Treatment Apparatus and Methods

The present invention relates to apparatus and methods for treating waste products, and in particular waste products containing biohazards found in medical waste and on medical instruments.

Medical waste must be treated in accordance with specific guidelines concerning disposal of the waste and the removal of its toxicity. The preferred method of dealing with such waste has been incineration. However, the need to reduce the level of gas emissions from the incinerators has increased the cost of incineration and has made it difficult for hospitals to incinerate medical waste on-site. It is therefore apparent that alternatives to incineration are required.

There is also a requirement to allow the sterilisation of medical equipment so that it can be reused.

The prior art includes a variety of waste treatment methods and apparatus which consist of ovens or the like, in which the medical waste is heated to remove contamination using microwave, infra-red or ultraviolet radiation.

It is an object of the present invention to provide apparatus which allows efficient and effective decontamination of waste materials and/or which can also sterilise medical equipment so that it may be re- used.

In accordance with a first aspect of the present invention there is provided an apparatus for the treatment of material, the apparatus comprising: a sealable chamber for receiving material to be treated; means for connecting a source of ozone to the interior of said chamber; an outlet conduit connected to the interior of said chamber; means for connecting a source of steam and/or water vapour to said outlet conduit; and vacuum pump means connected to said outlet conduit downstream of said means for connecting said source of steam and/or water vapour to said outlet conduit.

Preferably, said means for connecting said source of ozone to the interior of said chamber includes first non-return valve means for controlling the supply of ozone to the interior of the chamber. Preferably also, said outlet conduit is connected to the interior of said chamber via non-return second non-return valve means. Preferably also, said means for connecting said source of steam and/or water vapour to said outlet conduit includes third non-return valve means for controlling the supply of steam and/or water vapour to the outlet conduit .

Preferably, said outlet conduit includes a mixing chamber downstream of said means for connecting said source of steam and/or water vapour to said outlet conduit .

Preferably, said outlet conduit further includes means for sterilising gas and/or gas-borne contaminants. Preferably also, said outlet conduit further includes filter means for filtering gas-borne material.

Preferably, the apparatus further includes means for connecting a source of steam and/or water vapour to the interior of said chamber. Preferably also, said means for connecting said source of steam and/or water vapour to the interior of said chamber includes fourth non-return valve means for controlling the supply of steam and/or water vapour to the interior of said chamber.

Preferably, the apparatus further includes means for irradiating the interior of said chamber with infra- red and/or ultraviolet and/or microwave radiation. Preferably, the apparatus includes first and second doors, mutually spaced one from the other, providing access to the interior of said chamber.

In accordance with a second aspect of the present invention there is provided a method for the treatment of material comprising: placing material to be treated inside a chamber; (1) at least partially evacuating the interior of said chamber; (2) releasing a quantity of ozone into the interior of said at least partially evacuated chamber; (3) drawing said ozone out of the chamber via an outlet conduit and mixing said ozone with steam and/or water vapour so as to convert substantially all of said ozone to oxygen.

The method may include one or more repetitions of steps (2) and (3) .

Preferably, the method further includes at least one step of: (4) at least partially evacuating the interior of said chamber and releasing a quantity of steam and/or water vapour into the interior of said at least partially evacuated chamber.

Preferably, the method further includes at least one step of: (5) irradiating the interior of said chamber with infra-red and/or ultraviolet and/or microwave radiation.

Steps (4) and (5) may be performed simultaneously.

The steps (1) to (5) may be combined and/or repeated in any desired sequence.

The present invention will now be described by way of example only with reference to the accompanying drawing in which:

Fig. 1 is a schematic sectional view of waste treatment apparatus embodying the present invention.

The apparatus 1 comprises a chamber 3 into which the material to be treated is placed. In this embodiment, the chamber has doors 5 and 7 at either longitudinal end of the chamber. The first door 5 (hereinafter referred to as the in-door) is used for putting material 11 to be treated into the chamber 3. The second door 7 (hereinafter referred to as the out- door) is used to allow the removal of the material once it has been treated. The use of separate in and out doors is advantageous since it avoids the possibility of treated material being re -contaminated upon removal from the chamber 3. The doors 5 and 7 are provided with suitable fasteners 9 and seals (not shown) which are used to ensure an air-tight seal between the doors 5 and 7 and the chamber 3.

The chamber includes sources 13 of electromagnetic radiation, suitably infra-red, ultra-violet or microwave radiation, or combinations of these. The radiation sources 13 may suitably be arranged around the periphery of the interior of the chamber 3, e.g. at the top and bottom surfaces thereof, and are used to assist in heating/sterilising and drying the chamber and material contained therein. The infra-red and/or ultra violet and/or microwave sources 13 may be of conventional type.

The chamber 3 is provided with a first inlet 17 which is connected by means of a pipe 19 to a first non- return valve (NRV) 21. NRV 21 is connected to an ozone generator 22 and is used to control the supply of ozone to the chamber 3. The use of a non-return valve prevents reverse flow of gas from the chamber 3 into the ozone generator 22, which could cause contamination of the ozone generator 22.

The chamber 3 is further provided with a second inlet 25 connected to a second non-return valve NRV 27 by means of a pipe 26. NRV 27 is connected to a source 28 of steam and/or water vapour and is used to control the supply of steam and/or water vapour to the chamber 3. NRV 27 again prevents reverse flow of water vapour from the chamber 3 to the steam/water vapour source 28, consequently preventing the flow of contaminated steam and/or water vapour to its source 28.

The chamber 3 also includes an outlet 29. The outlet 29 is used to vent gases and gas-borne material out of the chamber 3. The outlet 29 is connected to an outlet pipe 30 provided with a third non-return valve 31, which prevents any material which has passed through the valve 31 from re-entering the chamber 3.

The outlet pipe 30 is connected downstream of NRV 31 to a branch pipe 33 which is in turn connected to a source 34 of steam and/or water vapour, via a fourth NRV 36 (the same source of steam/water vapour may be connected to both the pipes 26 and 33) . Downstream of the branch pipe 33, the outlet pipe 30 is connected in turn to a mixing chamber 35, a vacuum pump 37, a sterilising chamber 38 and a final output filter 39, having an outlet vent 40 to atmosphere. The sterilising chamber may employ any suitable means (e.g. ultra-violet radiation) for sterilising gas- borne contaminants. The output filter 39 may be of any suitable type for removing any remaining contaminants from gases passing through the outlet pipe 30 prior to being vented to atmosphere; e.g. a bio-filter, ion-exchange column or the like, or combinations thereof. The apparatus as described above may be configured and operated in a variety of ways to effect de- contamination/ sterilisation of a variety of materials and contaminants. An operating cycle of the apparatus may comprise combinations or permutations of the following steps.

A. With the interior of the chamber 3 at atmospheric pressure, the in-door 5 is opened and the material 11 to be treated is placed inside the chamber 3. The in-door 5 is closed and the chamber 3 sealed. NRVs 21, 27 and 36 are closed and NRV 31 is opened.

B. The vacuum pump 37 is operated to at least partially evacuate the interior of the chamber 3. Air drawn out of the chamber 3 is sterilised/de- contaminated by the sterilising chamber 38 and output filter 39 before being vented to atmosphere. Once the pressure in the chamber 3 is reduced to the required level the vacuum pump 37 is de-activated.

C. With the chamber 3 at reduced pressure, NRV 21 is opened temporarily, allowing a pulse of ozone to enter the chamber from the ozone source 22, and then closed. NRV 36 is opened and the vacuum pump 37 is operated to draw the ozone out of the chamber 3 and to draw steam/water vapour from the source 34. Ozone and steam/water vapour are mixed in the mixing chamber 35, converting the ozone to oxygen, prior to being vented via the sterilising chamber 38 and output filter 39. The vacuum pump 37 is again de-activated and NRV 36 closed.

D. With the chamber 3 again at reduced pressure, NRV 27 is opened, allowing a pulse of steam/water vapour to enter the chamber 3 from the source 28 to provide further cleansing and/or sterilisation of the chamber and its contents 11. The vacuum pump 37 is then operated to vent the steam/water vapour from the chamber 3 via the sterilising chamber 38 and output filter 39.

E. The radiation source (s) 13 is/are operated to provide further sterilisation and/or drying of the chamber 3 and contents 11.

These steps may be combined and/or repeated in various sequences depending on the nature of the material to be treated and the degree of sterilisation required. Steps D and E in particular may be performed simultaneously. A typical cycle will generally begin with steps A and B and end with steps D and E (the latter suitably being performed simultaneously) , with at least one iteration of step C therebetween. There may be multiple iterations of steps C, which may be combined with one or more iterations of steps D and E in various sequences, between the beginning and end of the operating cycle. During the operating cycle, the pressure inside the chamber 3 would not normally exceed 0.5 bar. Once the operating cycle is complete the pressure in the chamber may be equalised with the external atmosphere and the out-door 7 opened to remove the treated material .

It will be appreciated that the present invention can be applied to any type of material containing a biohazard and is not restricted to the sterilisation of medical waste and equipment. In particular, the present invention may be used to sterilise or decontaminate bio-mass, fibrous materials, wood, wool and other organic materials.

Whilst the present Application has been described in relation to treatment of medical waste and other waste, the method described is equally applicable to treatment and sterilisation of other material requiring such treatment. For example, the method can be applied to treatment and sterilisation of organic materials such as cork and the like.

Modifications and improvements can be incorporated without departing from the scope of the present invention as defined in the claims.

Claims

1. An apparatus for the treatment of material, the apparatus comprising: a sealable chamber for receiving material to be treated; means for connecting a source of ozone to the interior of said chamber; an outlet conduit connected to the interior of said chamber; means for connecting a source of steam and/or water vapour to said outlet conduit; and vacuum pump means connected to said outlet conduit downstream of said means for connecting said source of steam and/or water vapour to said outlet conduit.
2. Apparatus according to claim 1, in which said means for connecting said source of ozone to the interior of said chamber includes a first non-return valve for controlling the supply of ozone to the interior of the chamber.
3. Apparatus according to claim 2, in which said outlet conduit is connected to the interior of said chamber via a second non-return valve.
4. Apparatus according to claim 3, in which said means for connecting said source of steam and/or water vapour to said outlet conduit includes a third non- return valve for controlling the supply of steam and/or water vapour to the outlet conduit.
5. Apparatus according to any preceding claim, in which said outlet conduit includes a mixing chamber downstream of said means for connecting said source of steam and/or water vapour to said outlet conduit .
6. Apparatus according to any preceding claim, in which said outlet conduit further includes means for sterilising gas and/or gas-borne contaminants.
7. Apparatus according to any preceding claim, in which said outlet conduit further includes filter means for filtering gas-borne material.
8. Apparatus according to any preceding claim, further including means for connecting a source of steam and/or water vapour to the interior of said chamber.
9. Apparatus according to claim 8, in which said means for connecting said source of steam and/or water vapour to the interior of said chamber includes a fourth non-return valve for controlling the supply of steam and/or water vapour to the interior of said chamber.
10. Apparatus according to any preceding claim, further including means for irradiating the interior of said chamber with radiation selected from infra- red, ultraviolet, and microwave radiation.
11. Apparatus according to any preceding claim, including first and second doors, mutually spaced one from the other, providing access to the interior of said chamber.
12. A method for the treatment of material comprising: placing material to be treated inside a chamber; (1) at least partially evacuating the interior of said chamber; (2) releasing a quantity of ozone into the interior of said at least partially evacuated chamber; (3) drawing said ozone out of the chamber via an outlet conduit and mixing said ozone with steam and/or water vapour so as to convert substantially all of said ozone to oxygen.
13. The method according to claim 12, in which steps (2) and (3) are repeated one or more times.
14. The method of claim 12 or claim 13, further including at least one step of: (4) at least partially evacuating the interior of said chamber and releasing a quantity of steam and/or water vapour into the interior of said at least partially evacuated chamber.
15. The method of any of claims 12 to 14, further including at least one step of: (5) irradiating the interior of said chamber with radiation selected from infra-red, ultraviolet, and microwave radiation.
16. A method according to claim 15 when dependent on claim 14, in which steps (4) and (5) are performed simultaneously.
17. The method of any of claims 12 to 16, in which the interior of said chamber is evacuated to less than 0.5 bar.
18. The method of any of claims 12 to 17, in which the material treated is clinical waste.
19. The method of any of claims 12 to 17, in which the material treated consists of medical or surgical equipment.
PCT/GB2000/004424 1999-11-27 2000-11-22 Waste treatment apparatus and methods WO2001037887A1 (en)

Priority Applications (4)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GBGB9928026.5A GB9928026D0 (en) 1999-11-27 1999-11-27 Waste treatment apparatus and methods
GB9928026.5 1999-11-27
GB9928647.8 1999-12-04
GBGB9928647.8A GB9928647D0 (en) 1999-12-04 1999-12-04 Waste treeatment apparatus and methods

Applications Claiming Priority (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB0118301A GB2361644B (en) 1999-11-27 2000-11-22 Waste treatment apparatus and methods
AU15308/01A AU1530801A (en) 1999-11-27 2000-11-22 Waste treatment apparatus and methods

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
WO2001037887A1 true WO2001037887A1 (en) 2001-05-31

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ID=26316095

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
PCT/GB2000/004424 WO2001037887A1 (en) 1999-11-27 2000-11-22 Waste treatment apparatus and methods

Country Status (3)

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AU (1) AU1530801A (en)
GB (1) GB2361644B (en)
WO (1) WO2001037887A1 (en)

Cited By (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2004014436A1 (en) * 2002-08-13 2004-02-19 Amorim & Irmãos, S.A. Cork product treatment system and apparatuses by extraction of compounds dragged in water vapour
WO2004040214A1 (en) * 2002-10-31 2004-05-13 Genevac Ltd Pressure control in centrifugal evaporators
WO2006026869A1 (en) * 2004-09-06 2006-03-16 Xorella Ag Method and plant for the treatment of fibrous material susceptible to degradation by biological activity
US8318086B2 (en) 2009-06-12 2012-11-27 Ashwin-Ushas Corporation, Inc. Microwave remediation of medical wastes
CN102836451A (en) * 2012-09-14 2012-12-26 无锡市久源佳商用厨具有限公司 Multi-mode ozone high temperature disinfection cabinet

Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4447399A (en) * 1981-05-07 1984-05-08 Mdt Chemical Company Combination steam and unsaturated chemical vapor sterilizer
WO1986005100A1 (en) * 1985-02-27 1986-09-12 Weiss Umwelttechnik Gmbh Process and device for sterilizing equipment or materials
WO1990012601A1 (en) * 1989-04-24 1990-11-01 Pilema S.R.L Process for the sterilization of medical waste
EP0761237A1 (en) * 1995-09-08 1997-03-12 Carba Société Anonyme Device and method for disinfecting materials
JPH09253083A (en) * 1996-03-27 1997-09-30 Toshiba Corp Medical equipment

Patent Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4447399A (en) * 1981-05-07 1984-05-08 Mdt Chemical Company Combination steam and unsaturated chemical vapor sterilizer
WO1986005100A1 (en) * 1985-02-27 1986-09-12 Weiss Umwelttechnik Gmbh Process and device for sterilizing equipment or materials
WO1990012601A1 (en) * 1989-04-24 1990-11-01 Pilema S.R.L Process for the sterilization of medical waste
EP0761237A1 (en) * 1995-09-08 1997-03-12 Carba Société Anonyme Device and method for disinfecting materials
JPH09253083A (en) * 1996-03-27 1997-09-30 Toshiba Corp Medical equipment

Non-Patent Citations (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Title
PATENT ABSTRACTS OF JAPAN vol. 1998, no. 01 30 January 1998 (1998-01-30) *

Cited By (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2004014436A1 (en) * 2002-08-13 2004-02-19 Amorim & Irmãos, S.A. Cork product treatment system and apparatuses by extraction of compounds dragged in water vapour
WO2004040214A1 (en) * 2002-10-31 2004-05-13 Genevac Ltd Pressure control in centrifugal evaporators
WO2006026869A1 (en) * 2004-09-06 2006-03-16 Xorella Ag Method and plant for the treatment of fibrous material susceptible to degradation by biological activity
JP2008512572A (en) * 2004-09-06 2008-04-24 ゾレラ アーゲー Method and plant for treating fibrous materials susceptible to degradation due to biological activity
US8318086B2 (en) 2009-06-12 2012-11-27 Ashwin-Ushas Corporation, Inc. Microwave remediation of medical wastes
US8518324B2 (en) 2009-06-12 2013-08-27 Ashwin-Ushas Corporation, Inc. Microwave remediation of medical wastes
CN102836451A (en) * 2012-09-14 2012-12-26 无锡市久源佳商用厨具有限公司 Multi-mode ozone high temperature disinfection cabinet

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
GB2361644A (en) 2001-10-31
AU1530801A (en) 2001-06-04
GB0118301D0 (en) 2001-09-19
GB2361644B (en) 2003-06-18

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