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Combined Solar and Biogas Plant


Development and Research of Combined Solar and Biogas Plant for Medical Waste Disposal

Tech Area / Field

  • BIO-IND/Industrial Biotechnology/Biotechnology
  • FIR-CAA/Control and Accounting/Fission Reactors
  • MED-OTH/Other/Medicine
  • NNE-SOL/Solar Energy/Non-Nuclear Energy

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
National Polytechnical University of Armenia, Armenia, Yerevan

Supporting institutes

  • Armenian State Agrarian University, Armenia, Yerevan


  • Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal, Lisbon

Project summary

Purpose of the project. The project envisages the development and manufacturing of a combined solar and biogas plant for medical waste disposal (biological postoperative tissues, needles, scalpels, expired drugs and medicines, chemicals, etc.). Practical research of the results of the experiment will allow to check positive and negative aspects of the theory of application of alternative energy sources for medical waste disposal which are currently poorly explored.

Special emphasis will be put on neutralization of toxic gases and the technology of junk briquetting.

Current state of affairs in the research area. One of the main reasons for hospital-acquired infections is ordinary ventilation as well as landfills of medical waste inseminated with pathogenic flora burning in the wind. Agents of dangerous infections instantaneously spread over many tens of kilometers. Waste burial is of no help either. Dangerous microbes are washed away by subsoil waters, and when bioorganic materials inevitably rot they get on to the surface with evolved gases.

At present the world experience in the sphere of medical waste disposal indicates that medical waste utilization is a complicated process and requires heavy spending. Analysis of the current situation in this sphere shows that:

  1. Unutilized medical waste still poses too high a degree of hazard to human life and no revenues can compensate for it;
  2. Up to date in all civilized countries dangerous medical waste will be only destructed. In this connection in many countries a wide spread practice of lawful buying-up in hospitals of used syringes, droppers, X-ray films, etc. with a view to extract plastic and silver is dangerous both for sellers and buyers;
  3. Due to the lack of specialized agencies and special plants for processing of specific waste of medical and preventive treatment institutions in the burning mode, for example in Transcaucasia, the waste is removed to disposal sites, so utilization of hospital waste is the responsibility of the one who makes it – medical staff.

Impact of the proposed project on the progress in this area. In case of successful completion of the proposed experiment, i.e. increase in efficiency and safety of waste disposal, the basis for development of autonomous plants to be located in different regions of the republic will be created and the necessity of waste transportation to centralized medical waste disposal plants which requires additional transport costs and is not safe will be eliminated.

Competencies of project participants in this area. Qualification of the project manager and project officers allows to carry out the above mentioned works, since earlier they were engaged in development of alternative energy resources, research of their characteristics, utilization of livestock waste, purification of solutions with electrochemical methods and condensed steam containing zinc, plum bum and chloride-bearing components.

In the course of development of the proposed project the experience earlier accumulated during the development of solar energy converters for securing the temperatures in the prototype plant of not less than (140-160) 0C will be used. The above said is confirmed by available publications and presentations at internationals symposia and conferences, results under the performed projects INTAS No 96-1823 (1998-20000 Mac Artur No 98-52238 (1998-2000) and ISTC A-919, A-1358 (2007-2009)-.

Anticipated results and their application. As a result of completion of this project a significant contribution into utilization of medical waste will be made, which will allow developing and substantiating the expediency of use of alternative energy sources as a new and additional source and increasing the total annual energy balance of the Republic, creating new utilization plants with extended functional capabilities, enhanced performance and safety characteristics. Relatively low-power utilization plants will be created for autonomous sites and consumers.

Project compliance with the ISTC purposes. The experts who have knowledge in the sphere of mass destruction weapons will be engaged in the project and the project itself is purely peace-oriented, so it completely complies with the purposes of MNTC. Besides, the compliance with these purposes is achieved due to the planned wide involvement of scientists from organizations participating in the world scientific community through presentation of information on the project at international conferences, symposia and seminars.

Data about the scope of works. The following works will be performed under the project:

  • Development of the program for creation of a database on available medical waste in the territory of the Republic for determination of sites appropriate for location of medical waste disposal plants as well as assessment of medical waste transportation costs.
  • Engineering and design of the Combined Solar and Biogas Plant with a new chamber type of the reactor for medical waste burning and after-burning with the use of saturated steam;
  • Recovery of concentrated solar radiation for steam and hot air generation;
  • Engineering and design of high-temperature reactor;
  • Laboratory research of physical parameters of the developed Combined Solar and Biogas Plant;
  • Generation of oversaturated water steam by way of steam supply from solar steam sterilizer under high pressure (3,3 bar) and high temperature (+134°C).
  • Development of measuring and information system for uninterrupted measurement of current values of key parameters of the plant (temperature, pressure), their subsequent control and adjustment during the technological process;
  • Optimization of the burning mode and decrease of concentration of toxic compounds in the associated gas;
  • Preparation of technical documentation for large-scale production of Combined Solar and Biogas Plant;
  • Preparation of final report;
  • Submission of the results of works to international scientific community.

Role of international collaborators is to hold joint research activities and seminars, exchange information and discuss the results in the course of project implementation, joint use of equipment and materials, joint publications. Employees of the scientific team of the Stuttgart Agricultural University, Stuttgart Technical University (Germany), ETA (Italy), Politechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo (Portugal) expressed their wish to act as collaborators in this project. Their teams are ready to exchange information with us with a view to test in practice a number of their theoretical efforts in case of their applicability in real conditions by the example of the Republic of Armenia (RA).

Technical approaches and methodologies. Key innovation in the process of works performance will be the use of combined alternative energy sources (sun, wind, biomass), which will provide for a quick and cheap solution of the issues of securing the mode of utilization of medical waste.

Calculations of all components of a combined plant will be carried out taking into account the data on availability and location of medical waste in the RA.

The activities of all agencies securing higher safety of life activity in the territory of the region in which the utilization plant is located will be planned. When drafting scenarios, all circumstances which probability will be estimated will be taken into account, prevention measures and possible loss minimization measures will be worked out.