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Eco Innovations

The Plasma Thermal Destruction and Recovery Technology and Its Relation to Hazardous Waste Treatment

Medical and industrial waste treatments and alternative energy generation (i.e. waste to energy) are two of the most important challenges facing the world today. An ever increasing global output coupled with the rapid industrialization in many developing countries is forcing the world to rethink how it handles wastage, and converts it as a resource.

Two dominant Medical and industrial waste-treatment solutions – incineration and land-filling – continue to fall out of favor with regulators and the general public due to a myriad of reasons (pollution and land-use issues, waste of valuable resources – minimal recycling, etc.) however as environmental challenges increase and waste continues to be generated, alternative solutions are mandatory. With stringent regulations in place and increasing enforcement, industries and communities throughout the world are focused on newer technologies that would be efficient, non-polluting, economical and easy to use in managing hazardous/industrial and municipal-waste.

PEAT’s focus for the core PTDR waste-to-energy systems is on (1) Refinery sludge (hazardous waste-treatment), (2) Medical waste-treatment (including pharmaceuticals and (3) Chemical waste (toxic). TVRC systems are marketed toward MSW applications, which is the general trash generated and collected from households.

PEAT believes this “niche focus” allows it to roll out core PTDR waste-to-energy systems more rapidly since the current principal method for dealing with these waste-streams is destruction by incineration (which is increasingly coming under disfavor).

A 2012 report by the German environmental consultancy group, Ecoprog, indicated that approximately €6.1 billion ($7.5 Billion USD) per year is invested in new construction, modernization and maintenance of thermal waste to energy plants throughout the world. There are approximately 2,150 thermal waste treatment plants in operation today and an additional 250 new energy facilities are estimated by 2016. The increasing lack of space in urban areas throughout the world and the decline of available landfill capacity are cited as the main contributing factors for the dynamic global market for the new construction of waste to energyplants.

The treatment for Hazardous, medical or toxic waste constitutes collection, followed by transportation (if required), and disposal of the same. This depends on the type of waste, the area, and the extent of processing that happens after the collection. The hazardous, medical or toxic waste-treatment process adopted involves the segregation of waste into hazardous and non-hazardous waste. The treatment is either done in-house, or the hazardous, medical or toxic waste-treatment is conducted off-site.

Waste remediation and recycling is a highly regulated industry where there are two dominant treatment and disposal processes: incineration and landfills (i.e. competitive substitutes). The macro-waste industry is changing and evolving in the United States and throughout the globe as both primary applications are falling more and more out of favor while new, more environmentally friendly solutions are being sought. For example, in late 2008 and April 2009, the US EPA published tougher proposed rules for emissions associated with medical waste treatment incineration and with emissions from cement kilns, respectively.