KANSAI Close-up

Disposing of Medical Waste without Burning for the First Time in the World

 Shiga University of Medical Science (Otsu City) recently announced that it had succeeded for the first time in the world in developing and commercializing a device for the safe non-pyrolysis waste treatment of medical waste such as used syringes and gloves stained with blood.
 The university and Kusatsu Electric Co., Ltd. (Kusatsu City, Shiga Prefecture) jointly developed this device and introduced the completed version (photo) to the university hospital in April.
 The device is about 2 m wide, about 4 m deep and about 2 m high. Medical waste with a risk of contagion is automatically shredded within the device without being touched by people, is decomposed and gasified by titanium oxide which is heated to about 500 °C and serves as a catalyst, and finally becomes water and carbon dioxide (CO2). Metal pieces and other materials that have not been decomposed are disposed of separately. It takes about 10 minutes to decompose 1 kg of waste. Waste of 7 t generated by a 300-bed-size hospital in one month can be treated using only a single device. Compared to conventional incineration, this device can reduce CO2 emissions by more than 30%. In addition, it is also capable of treating the carcasses of genetically-modified creatures and microbes with a risk of contagion, and also of collecting rare metals from waste.
 Prof. Toru Tani of Shiga University, who has been involved in the development of this device, has said that he would like to spread the Zero Emission Activity for the complete disposal of all medical waste in the university both in Japan and overseas.
Contact : the Planning and. Management Office, Shiga University of Medical Science.
Phone or E-mail 077-548-2012
Website http://www.shiga-med.ac.jp/e/