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 1.  What is an incinerator?

 2.  What can an incinerator do for me?

 3.  Why is incineration a preferred method?

 4.  How do I know what kind of incinerator to select?

 5.  There are so many different incinerator designs available in the market. How do I know which to select?

 6.  How do I choose where to locate my incinerator?

 7.  Will installing an incinerator solve all my waste disposal problems?

 8.  Why do some people oppose incinerators?

 9.  Why I do need a waste management plan?

10.  (For healthcare institutes only) How can I check the status of waste management in my Institute?

 

 1.  What is an incinerator?

Old   The process of burning, setting fire to or destroying.
New   An Engineered process using controlled flame combustion to thermally degrade waste materials.

Incinerators of today are designed to efficiently and safely burn wastes at specified rates and temperatures with the residual ash containing little or no combustible material.

An incinerator must have the following design features:

  1. Mixing of air and fuel should be in the correct proportion.

  2. The 3Ts of incineration must be achieved - high retention Time for complete combustion, provision for creation of Turbulence in the combustion chamber and appropriate Temperatures.

  3. Should be easy to install and simple to operate

  4. Satisfy all environmental regulations.

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 2.  What can an incinerator do for me?

An incinerator can help you dispose biomedical, hazardous, animal, vegetable and other types of waste materials. It is one of the most preferred methods of waste disposal in the world today.

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 3.  Why is incineration a preferred method?

In many locations throughout the world, waste is simply dumped on unused ground where it is left to decompose over time. The decomposing waste provides a breeding ground for vermin and bugs and any human or animal could become seriously ill after coming in contact with decomposing waste. Land-fill sites are also problematic as they are difficult to maintain and need to be specially designed facilities having closely controlled access and operational practices. Shortage of land and underground pollution are also major issues. Risks may also be greater from composting because human exposure to toxic substances are greater through food chain pathways than through inhalation pathways.

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 4.  How do I know what kind of incinerator to select?

Incinerator selection can be done based on the following:

  1. Type and quantity of waste being generated per day.

  2. Duration that machine will be operated in a day.

  3. Fuel that is to be used.

  4. Whether any special loading or de-ashing systems are required.

  5. Whether any space restrictions exist.

  6. Any other specific requirements such as mode of operation, electric supply etc.

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 5.  There are so many different incinerator designs available in the market. How do I know which to select?

Many fly-by-night companies, in order to make a quick buck, produce metal shells, which do not meet temperature or residence time requirements. Other manufacturers who make electric incinerators fail to mention the high maintenance and running costs of these systems and also their inability to meet temperature requirements. Selection of an incinerator design and company must be made based on past experience, service back-up and availability of spares and quality control measures adopted during production.

COMPARISON BETWEEN OIL FIRED AND ELECTRICAL INCINERATORS

Sl. No.

OIL-FIRED INCINERATOR

STANDARD ELECTRICAL INCINERATOR

1.

Internal combustion temperature is of the order of 850C - 1100C

The temperature is not expected to rise beyond 600C.

2.

Provided with two / three chambers

Provided with one chamber.

3.

Annual running cost for a model of capacity 20 kg/hr

    Fuel consumption = 8 ltr / hr
    Duration of use = 6 hrs
    Fuel consumption per day = 48 ltr
    Daily cost = 48 x Rs. 25.15 = Rs. 1207.20
    Annual cost = 1207.20 x 365 = Rs. 4,40,628

Annual running cost for an electrical incinerator

    Power consumption (at 90% efficiency) = 83.33 units / hr
    Duration of use = 6 hrs
    Electricity consumed per day = 500 units
    Daily cost = 500 x Rs. 5.50 = Rs. 2750
    Annual cost = Rs. 2750 x 365 = Rs. 10,03,750

 

ANNUAL SAVINGS USING AN OIL-FIRED INCINERATOR = Rs. 5,63,122

4.

Very few replacements required (maintenance free)

Heating elements need to be replaced frequently at prices ranging from Rs.30,000 to 80,000 depending on the wattage.

5.

Special castable refractory having high strength at high temperature against heat oxidation and chemical attack.

Refractory bricks are used which are prone to failure due to build up of stress concentration between edges.

6.

Simple to operate

Skilled personnel required to operate.

7.

Very little electric power consumed.

Large consumption of electricity, which is scarce.

8.

Large furnace volume for extended dwell time

Small furnace volume.

9.

Non-Polluting

Known to cause pollution.

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 6.  How do I choose where to locate my incinerator?

  • Siting in the open is recommended upon level concrete, not close to tall buildings and in an area free from air turbulence. If positioning is within a building, appropriate flue arrangements must be provided and adequate ventilation is essential.

  • Ensure adequate space around the incinerator for operation and maintenance of unit. (This is particularly important if unit is housed inside a building.)

  • Do not stand flammable materials or liquids close to incinerators.

  • Always allow a minimum of two metres clear all round the incinerator.

  • Concrete hard standing bases must be able to take the weight of the incinerator. They should also be able to withstand the temperature put out by the unit.

  • Always ensure sufficient room is available to ash out the unit.

  • If sited inside a building, adequate air must be available to ensure the combustion process can take place and sufficient ventilation is allowed for.

  • The proposed site should, if possible, be such as to allow for the efficient cost effective operation of the unit.

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 7.  Will installing an incinerator solve all my waste disposal problems?

The answer to this is a very simple 'NO'. The incinerator can only be part of a comprehensive waste management system of which it is a large component. It can be used for most waste types barring a few exceptions. A plan to reduce, reuse and recycle will go a long way in solving all disposal problems.

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 8.  Why do some people oppose incinerators?

Incinerators need to have certain design features and need to be used correctly. Indiscriminate use of inadequately designed systems (by overloading, loading non-incinerable wastes, etc.) and pollution generated by these caused some sectors to label all incinerators as inefficient. However, technologies are available today which have made waste incinerators a clean and environmentally sound form of waste management, so that such opposition is now unfounded. All methods like recycling, composting, land-filling and incineration have similar environmental impacts. Comparison of impacts is difficult because alternative systems generate different pollutants having various toxicities, effects, reasons and modes and affect different populations and eco-systems. It is not possible, for example, to qualitatively determine whether recycling produces more or less pollutants or produces greater or fewer risks per ton of material processed than do incineration or land filling.

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 9.  Why I do need a waste management plan?

A waste management plan will determine which initiatives will be the most beneficial. The three main steps are information gathering, waste stream analysis and development of action plans. Information must be collected on the volume of each type of waste in each specific area and current costs associated with disposal must be determined. Waste management initiatives like reduction, recycling, reuse and recovery will enable treatment of only waste types that need to be treated.

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10.  (For healthcare institutes only) How can I check the status of waste management in my Institute?

Please download the checklist by clicking on this link  checklist (File Size: 76.5 KB).

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