[Stoves] Request for proposals: Medical Waste Incinerator for Humanitarian Emergencies from Innocentive

Crispin Pemberton-Pigott crispinpigott at outlook.com
Sun Sep 6 12:02:06 MDT 2015

Dear Andrew

It has to rust the needles into oblivion. That has to be above 800 C. If it
is done on a cast iron grate it means getting the grate very hot. Glowing
yellow on the surface at least.  If it exceeds 1100 it is going to melt. The
firepower needs to be high. Generally speaking, such a device is something
health departments will pay for because the human cost of not disposing
properly of medical waste is high.

The installation should have a place for storage of wood for a long time to
get it properly dry, possibly using waste heat to assist. A lot of the waste
comes in plastic bucket-like containers which have to be loaded from garbage
cans. There are a lot of plastic bags involved. Chute-loading is pretty much
a requirement. Incinerator operators are exposed to a lot of risks doing
this. As far as possible the operator should not have to touch anything
directly to load the grate.  One survey at the Mbabane Hospital reported
(prior to the waste management intervention) that the loader was stuck with
a disposed needle approximately once per week. 

Safety is a serious business.


> Dear Friends
> This is a perennial question, particularly for rural clinics which 
> have to dispose of things on site.  One of the requirements of a good 
> incinerator is it should burn the 'sharps' basically to nothing. 
> Needles are usually evaporated.  A second need is to burn wet things 
> like afterbirth.  The garbage is not, on its own, enough to meet these two
Yes Crispin but what is the high temperature requirement? With dry wood
burning at best (no excess air, adiabatic flame temperature) at 1600C  and
typically achieving only 1200C it simply may not be good enough as a support
fuel without some clever thinking.

> Good project.



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