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Wednesday, 09 March 2016 11:59

PA Consultants have worked with PyroPure Ltd to successfully validate the PyroPure technology for healthcare and laboratory waste.

PyroPure Ltd commissioned PA Consultants to investigate the key technical challenges involved in processing wastes with high plastic content, such as healthcare waste. The performance required of the PyroPure® technology to process this type of waste efficiently and economically meant redesigning the way the waste was heated in the system and the way the gases arising were processed through a catalytic converter. PA Consultants put forward a series of proposals for addressing these issues and detailed discussions were held with PyroPure engineers to settle on preferred options.

Designs were drawn up for stabilising the rate of pyrolysis and increasing the throughput of the catalytic converter. Before proceeding further, the economic viability of the end product was investigated jointly. PA Consultants built an economic model which calculates the capital cost and ongoing waste processing cost for a redesigned system and PyroPure Ltd undertook further market research to establish the market opportunity not only in the UK but also internationally and to investigate how input costs, particularly energy costs, vary between markets. Several major markets were found to have a high cost of healthcare waste disposal but relatively low energy cost, in particular the USA, and therefore look highly favourable for PyroPure®. In addition to this, independent research on the global market for autoclaves identified a significant additional opportunity for PyroPure® systems to substitute for laboratory autoclaves that are commonly used to sterilise biohazardous laboratory wastes. In this case using a PyroPure® system saves the costs of the autoclave as well as the costs of collection and disposal of the autoclaved waste.

PA Consultants then focused on the design of the heating chamber for healthcare waste and produced a new prototype of this key sub-system. At the same time PyroPure® looked into a novel solution for enhancing the rate of processing of the waste gases arising from the waste chamber: this involved rapid cooling of the catalytic converter sub-system. Both sub-systems were tested independently and then brought together to form a first integrated working model of a new PyroPure® system for processing healthcare and laboratory waste. Results from the sub-systems and integrated solution were sufficiently promising to proceed rapidly to the construction of a new PyroPure® prototype.

 

Peter Selkirk, Executive Chairman at PyroPure Ltd comments: “We found PA Consultants to be an excellent partner in this phase of our work. They quickly appreciated the challenge and impressed us with their choice of proposed engineering solutions and their ability to engage over the economic questions as well as the technical issues. This has resulted in a an effective validation of the PyroPure® technology and its market potential, as well as crucial new sub-systems to enable PyroPure® to deliver the performance and economic benefits that we have been seeking.”