Recycling, pacification and re-assignation of medical waste based on cotton, plastic and super-absorbent polymer materials

Research output: Other contributionpeer-review


School of Pharmacy & Biomolecular Sciences Research Seminar Series, Advanced Engineering Building, Room G3, 13:00–14:00 15 March 2019. The UK alone produces in region of 3 ×109 soiled nappies per annum and since only a mere 2% of NHS waste is recycled, we look to improve on current disposal of specific absorbent waste (AW) materials from medical and care home sources but with a view to wider extrapolation to household collected waste, maybe influencing UK policy. Issues over the appropriate sanitisation of haﰋardous and non-haﰋardous medical waste, the ‘carbon footprint’ of manufacture and disposal handling, default disposal positions of landfill and thermal energy recovery (incineration) methods versus greenhouse gas emissions, prove the current state of affairs to be unsatisfactory. This industry-academia collaboration in the form of a 3-year, £230,000-value Innovate UK-funded KTP project hopes to use the principle of AW material re-assignment and re-valuation to drive sustainable disposal of waste and even inform future product design to facilitate better recycling. We (a multidisciplinary team of a chemical engineer, material scientist, microbiologist and plant ecologist) hope to split and segregate the mixed waste stream and use the sterilised and chemically treated premium AW components to develop ‘value-added’ products from material, that is currently disposed of via incineration or landfill. We additionally hope to secure intellectual property rights from the AW material re-assignment and treatment routes and promote SME company expansion having already had our first project scientific paper accepted only 6-months into commencement of the project. The talk will give a summary of the problems we face with AW, an outline of the results we obtained to-date and our projected work in the years ahead.
Original languageEnglish
Typepost-grad Seminar
Media of outputaudio-visual
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2019


  • Recycling
  • Waste
  • Sterilisation
  • Hygiene


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