Tuesday, 16 February 2016 16:55

PyroPure Ltd has successfully completed a key development project started in 2014 and supported by over £165,000 of grant funding from Innovate UK, the government’s innovation agency. This project which was funded under the highly competitive ‘Smart grant’ scheme, involved enhancing the capability to process hazardous healthcare waste, with a radical improvement in the rate at which this material can be tackled by the system.

The project focused on sharps waste which is produced by hospitals, GP surgeries and other healthcare facilities. This consists of used syringes with hypodermic needles, scalpels and other sharp metal medical instruments. This waste is potentially infectious and may be contaminated with pharmaceutical residues. The PyroPure® technology is an ideal solution because it can destroy it where it arises, avoiding the infection and contamination risk associated with the conventional practices of storage, transport and offsite disposal. It also enables the efficient recovery of metal and energy onsite. The energy can then be redistributed within the building in which the PyroPure® system is located.

This type of waste contains a high proportion of plastic materials which cannot be recycled because the waste is hazardous and the plastics are of mixed types. These plastics release high quantities of heat when processed through the PyroPure system and in order to capture this and to process the gases quickly whilst controlling emissions, the PyroPure® system has been redeveloped. The redeveloped system shows enhanced control of waste destruction and faster processing of the gases produced.

Project progress was monitored closely by Innovate UK and the company demonstrated achievement of all necessary quarterly targets and reporting requirements in order to trigger the release of all tranches of the grant funding involved. PA Consultants advised on key aspects of the development work and provided independent validation. A wide range of technical options to deliver the enhanced processing of plastics were reviewed before settling on the preferred methods which were then successfully tested and verified within the course of the project.

The project finished on time and resulted in a system design that enables better processing of a variety of high cost wastes which have high plastic content, including most hazardous healthcare and laboratory wastes.

Peter Selkirk, Executive Chairman at PyroPure Ltd, comments: “This project has contributed strongly to achieving the potential of PyroPure technology to provide an easier and safer alternative to existing practices for the disposal of a wide range of healthcare and laboratory wastes. Successfully meeting the goals of the project has brought us closer to launching something that will irrevocably change the waste industry.”