Method for Degradation of Chemicals and Sterilization of Infectious Waste Water

This paper presents a technical approach of the newly tested treatment method for sterilization and oxidation of infectious waste waters (IWWs) from medical, pharmaceutical and chemical establishments (e.g. laboratories) and also shows results in consideration of efficiency, degradation rates and economic evaluation. In fact, IWWs have quite a high hazardous potential because of their pollutant content. These pollutants have a complex structure, are very stable or persistent (needed for e.g. warehousing of medicaments) and have low degradation rates in sewage treatment plant without proper pre-treatment. Dealing with such waste waters requires adequate and safe handling as well as extensive records on their origin and volume to exclude risks to human health and the environment. The safe disposal of IWWs from different establishments has become a major problem worldwide because of the emergence of new diseases which are not yet curable (e.g. HIV), and the threats of diseases caused by bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics (e.g. MDR tuberculosis).

One of the main principles of successful hygiene and environmental protection is described as prevention and limitation of the infection risk at the source. Following this and many other principles, the IAE institute and METEKA GmbH focus their research among others on degradation of chemicals, germs and drugs. Using a combination of two innovative technologies, i.e. the well known METEKA sterilization system and Anodic Oxidation with boron doped diamond electrodes, developed at IAE the practical tests with carbamazepine spiked water have been carried out. The Sterilization system ensures that infectious fluids are sterilized and in series connected Anodic Oxidation generates oxidants (e.g. OH-radicals) from waste water and its pollutants and consequently degrades the rest of drugs.
The advantages of this combined treatment method are in its in-situ application and that the sterilized waste water, which no longer poses any danger, may be discharged into the municipal sewage treatment plant in compliance with legal requirements. Due to the improvement in organic trace analysis of medical, pharmaceutical and chemical substances, water quality checks, quality assurance and detection rates down to the ng/litre - range can be performed. Furthermore, the paper discusses the European and Austrian legal frameworks on medical waste management, the statistics of waste produced in medical establishments in Austria, current state of knowledge about treatment of IWWs in Austria, used technologies (Sterilization and Anodic Oxidation) and technical design as well as implementation, application, evaluation and validation of practical tests.
- the paper is written in german -



Copyright: © Lehrstuhl für Abfallverwertungstechnik und Abfallwirtschaft der Montanuniversität Leoben
Quelle: Depotech 2012 (November 2012)
Seiten: 6
Preis: € 3,00
Autor: Dipl.-Ing. Dr. mont. Renato Sarc
Em.o.Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Karl E. Lorber
DI Stefanie Gesslbauer
Dr. Helmut F. Katschnig
G. Staber

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