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Incineration as a Medical Waste Treatment

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Medical waste incineration is thought to be the safest and most efficient way of treating such waste. Thirty-one states in the US demand the incineration of certain types of medical waste. The EPA even recommends that pharmaceutical waste is disposed of in this manner to avoid water pollution. Incineration is still one of the most common ways of disposing of medical waste today. It changes waste into reusable heat energy, ash, and flue gases.

There are four types of incinerator: moving grate, fixed grate, rotary kiln incinerators and fluidized bed incinerators. Moving grate incinerators are the most commonly used and are sometimes known as Municipal Solid Waste Incinerators (MSWIs). There are approximately 1200 Waste-to Energy Plants in forty different countries. About 1000 of these don’t pre-treat the waste before burning it. Extremely hot combustion gases are produced, and these are used to create steam in boilers. This steam is useful for producing electricity or for industrial objectives, for example desalination.

Incinerator technology is continually being improved. Pollution control measures are becoming more efficient and strive to keep up with stricter regulatory limits. Some of these include air scrubbers and carbon beds. Most facilities in the US try to operate below the regulatory standards.