Addfield Environmental Systems Ltd.

The Truth Behind Autoclaves for Medical Waste Incineration

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Source: Addfield Environmental Systems Ltd.

In the destruction of medical waste, it is widely understood that the safest way to reliably and permanently destroy hazardous pathogens and germs is with heat. As manufacturers of the worlds most trusted range of medical incinerators, we are more than well aware of the risks and benefits associated with handling medical waste.

In recent years a different approach to waste destruction has become popular and that is using an Autoclave. While not without its merit an autoclave can be very effective at treating a specific type of medical waste. However, the important question is what is the safest for the long term.

What is an Autoclave?

An autoclave is a pressurised chamber that is used to sterilise waste at temperatures of approximately 129°C (249ºF). Operating in a similar fashion to a traditional pressure cooker. They are used in many industries for a variety of uses not just for the destruction of waste. In the chemical industry, they are used to Vulcanize rubber as well as to manage hydrothermal synthesis.

Although the autoclave may appear new to many people it has been in use for more than 100 years with the first recorded Autoclave, being produced in 1884 which in itself was an adaption of a Steam Digester which had been in use since 1679.

Autoclaves are available in compact solutions that can be easily installed in most environments which have made them very popular in Microbiology, Podiatry, Tattooing, Body Piercing, Veterinary medicine, and dentistry.

They are beneficial in the sterilisation of many materials as they operate on a non-destructive path which leaves many items able to be recycled and reused.

Due to the more compact nature of an autoclave when they are being used for larger scale medical waste destruction they are required to be used alongside a biological shredder which cuts waste into smaller pieces to be able to be processed.

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