Kerala: MoU inked for validating alternative tech for biomedical waste disposal

CSIR-NIIST has developed a dual disinfection-solidification system that can spontaneously disinfect and immobilise degradable pathogenic biomedical waste.
Representative image
Representative image

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: CSIR-National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology (CSIR-NIIST), based in the capital, has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, for validating the technology that offers a sustainable and energy-efficient alternative to current practices in disposing pathogenic biomedical waste. The MoU was signed recently on the sidelines of the curtain raiser of CSIR’s ‘One Week One Theme’ (OWOT) programme held in New Delhi.

CSIR-NIIST has developed a dual disinfection-solidification system that can spontaneously disinfect and immobilise degradable pathogenic biomedical waste such as blood, urine, saliva, sputum, and laboratory disposables, besides imparting a pleasant natural fragrance to otherwise foul-smelling biomedical waste.

CSIR-NIIST, a constituent laboratory under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India, has developed the technology at its laboratory at Pappanamcode.

The technology has the potential for far-reaching consequences in the global biomedical arena, as it can address the limitations of conventional technologies, including energy-intense incineration. It will be validated via a pilot-scale installation and accompanying R&D at the AIIMS. The two institutions will have a technical meeting for finalising the specifications before initiation of the proposed study.

The developed technology has also been confirmed by expert third-parties for its antimicrobial action and the non-toxic nature of the treated material.

Soil studies have confirmed that the treated biomedical waste is superior to organic fertilizers like vermicompost. CSIR-NIIST director C Anandharamakrishnan and director, AIIMS, New Delhi, M Srinivas, exchanged the MoU in the presence of Union Minister of State for Science & Technology and vice president, CSIR, Jitendra Singh.

Anandharamakrishnan said CSIR-NIIST is committed to delivering sustainability in every technology with societal, national and global significance. It also targets an innovative solution for the safe and eco-friendly management of pathogenic biomedical waste through the present technology. Biomedical waste, which includes potentially infectious and pathogenic materials, presents a significant challenge for proper management and disposal. As per a 2020 report by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), India produces around 774 tonnes of biomedical waste daily.

CSIR-NIIST has also developed automated and integrated equipment to ensure minimal human exposure during any stage of pathogenic biomedical waste treatment.

The institution also transferred the technology for manufacturing plant leather alternatives from agri waste (cactus) to a startup company in Ahmedabad. This technology assures the reduction of carbon footprint and utilisation of waste lands in arid and semi-arid regions for cactus cultivation and value addition to farmers in Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Maharashtra.

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