A Revolutionary System
The revolutionary system and process developed by Paragon Waste Solutions combines two old techniques. The first, a technique called pyrolysis, which heats the waste to break down the chemical bonds and convert it into molecular fragments from the original molecular structure.
How is this different from just burning something in an incinerator? In pyrolysis, materials are heated in an inert atmosphere, which is not chemically reactive. Within this inert atmosphere flames/combustion can’t be supported. So, the material does not burn, but separates into small fragments until there is no more starting material.
The second technique is generically called low energy plasma. This is not to be mistaken for high temperature plasma chambers which operate at thousands of degrees and generally applied directly to the solid waste. Substituting a plasma driven incinerator that operates at many thousands of degrees for a conventional incinerator that operates at two thousand degrees still results in the use of an incinerator process with all its associated problems.
What distinguishes the CLX technology is that the PLASMA is (i) not high temperature and (ii) applied in the gas phase – not on the solid waste – and applied on those molecular fragments made by the pyrolysis. Gas phase reactions are much more efficient and much simpler to control than solid phase reactions. Quite simply we convert waste into smoke in our pyrolysis chamber and treat that smoke in our plasma reactor. But this is a complex discussion as well.
Anyone skilled in the art will recognize that applying a stream of electrons to the gas phase is not effective. Applying the electrons to molecules in an excited vibrational state is much more effective. In addition, the true distinction comes in realizing the fact that the half-life of electrons is far less than a microsecond. The electrons do not have time to react with the molecular fragments, and what actually happens is that the electrons react with the matrix gasses in the stream – like oxygen, water vapor, and some VOC’s and form reactive intermediates that have half-lives of micro to milli seconds. At these timeframes, it is these reactive species that react with the molecular fragments. The combination of a cracking and volatilization process followed by an in situ radical generation and reaction process on vibrationally excited molecules is what distinguishes the Paragon process from any form of incineration.
The use of the Paragon process to destroy medical waste is sustainable, requires little electricity or natural gas, and produces none of the char typically associated with incinerators that creates its own set of operational and landfill problems. Whereas incinerators have large footprints and towering smokestacks that belch chemicals into the environment, this solution requires no large scrubbing systems or huge machines. They are nondescript and will not visually impact communities. The system has already been tested by health departments and environmental agencies in California, Texas, and Florida, and has received air quality permits to operate in all three states. This process provides a solution for the greatest need in medical waste today, providing an environmental and sustainable alternative to conventional incineration. It represents the future of medical waste disposal.
To quantify the emissions from the CoronaLux® from a macro scale we can look at all pollutant emissions as less than 5 tons per year (tpy) for all pollutants; PM10, CO, NOx, SO2, VOCs, HAPs, and TAPs. If we focus in on the micro scale VOCs are measured in parts per billion and CO is skimming non-detect. In summary, incinerator emissions are measured in hundreds of tons per year, while the CoronaLux is only putting out a couple pounds. This is why we are the most environmentally friendly medical waste destruction process serving the market today.