Innovative method of biomedical waste management developed in Kazakhstan

NUR-SULTAN – Scientists at the Kazakh National University of Al-Farabi have developed an innovative method of handling biomedical waste (such as medical masks, gloves, shoe covers, etc.), which has no no analogue in the world, reports the Kazakh Ministry of Education and Science Press Service.

Biomedical waste can be recycled without sorting. Photo credit:

The plasma waste treatment technology and chemical plasma reactor, designed by national researchers, are unique in that they enable the complete thermal decontamination of biomedical waste and lead to increased treatment efficiency and reduced energy consumption.

Compared to the traditional method of recycling plasma, biomedical waste can be recycled without sorting.

“It differs from existing technologies because we use a high temperature plasma flame which decomposes all organic or inorganic compounds. In addition, the decomposition of complex plasma compounds will be efficient without oxygen. Compared to medical waste incineration methods, plasma recycling has several significant advantages, ”said Alexander Ustimenko, director of the Scientific Research Institute of the Department of Experimental and Theoretical Physics.

He continued, “It reduces the reactor volume six to eight times with its high productivity, and reduces the area needed for manufacturing facilities and decreases exhaust gases.”

Waste treatment takes place in a chemical plasma reactor at a temperature of up to 2000 K, which improves the melting of mineral residues and eliminates the formation of toxic components.

Due to COVID, the amount of biomedical waste in Kazakhstan and around the world is steadily increasing. Therefore, the need to develop methods of recycling medical masks, gloves, shoe covers, disposable protective suits and other medical supplies is more pressing than ever.