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bioplasticsMAGAZINE_1104

Applications A Cleaner

Applications A Cleaner Hospital, Pharmafilter is an integral concept for patient care, waste management and wastewater purification for hospitals, nursing homes and other care institutions. Pharmafilter has important benefits for patients and nursing staff. It improves the hygiene and efficiency of aseptic hospital processes by introducing single-use disposables from bio-degradable plastics instead of re-usables, such as cutlery, tableware, bedpans and urinals. These easy-to-use products reduce contacts with contaminated waste. Bedpan Olla The Pharmafilter concept The waste from a hospital department will be disposed of in a shredder, the Tonto ® . This Tonto is conveniently located at the nursing department sanitization station and replaces the conventional bedpan washer. The Tonto is connected to the existing sewer system. Together with the effluent from toilets, sinks and showers, the shredded waste is transported, through the existing hospital piping infrastructure, to a purification plant on the hospital site. Solid waste is separated from wastewater in the plant. The solid waste is reduced by anaerobic digestion, producing biogas. This gas is re-used for powering the plant. The wastewater is purified and all harmful substances are eliminated,. Hygiene and safety Two principles reduce contact with contaminated materials: 1. The introduction of single-use products simplifies protocols, offering hospitals a major advantage in introducing hygienic practices. These products don’t have to be washed and sterilized. The need for washing hands are avoided at many stages, because cross-contaminaton risks are eliminated. It has the additional advantage that clean products are handled and stored separate from contaminated products. 2. The waste is disposed of in the fastest manner close to the source and is safely transported to a processing plant. Traditionally, waste is sorted, gathered and stored temporarily in specifiec containers and carts. This waste leaves the hospital via corridors and elevators, a process that can lead to problems with hygiene, cause cross-contamination and overloading of the hospital elevator and hallway infrastructure. By Eduardo van den Berg Managing Director Pharmafilter Amsterdam, The Netherlands and Jan Ravenstijn Bioplastics Consultant Bioplastics As a closed-loop system, Pharmafilter is an ideal environment for bioplastic applications. 100% of the resulting waste is processed through an anaerobic digester with a high energy return and minimal residual waste. Dozens of highvolume single use bioplastic products will be developed in close cooperation with hospitals’ staff and end users. So far, the bio-based polymers PHA and TPS (thermoplastic starch) have been demonstrated to be good anaerobically digestible products. PLA is more of a challenge, since it requires specific digester conditions for complete 22 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/11] Vol. 6

Applications a Cleaner Environment anaerobic digestion. Other bio-based polymers, like PBS, still have to be tested. However, for most bio-based plastic articles compounds of two or more of the abovementioned bio-based polymers will be used. Good anaerobic digestibility is required for each of those compounds. The Pharmafilter disposables are designed with the latest generation of certified, 100% biodegradable plastics. These bioplastics are made from renewable resources like waste from corn, potato chips, or paper manufacturing. These bioplastics have much lower CO 2 emissions during their life cycle. The quality of Pharmafilter’s biodegradable products is equal to that of the conventional plastic and the design surpasses traditional metal products both functionally and estetically. BedPan Olla Consultation was sought with patients and nursing staff on the design of the Olla. Important criteria in design were hygiene and ergonomics. Robust material is used in manufacturing of the Olla which offers stability, but unlike the traditional bedpan it feels comfortable and warm to the skin. After patient use the Olla can be closed airtight and with the extended handle the nursing staff can deposit the Olla bedpan easily into the Tonto. In this case metal is replaced by a PHA based compound. Shredder Tonto PRIME MATERIAL European Trade Fair and Forum for Composites, Technology and Applications 27 - 29 SEPTEMBER 2011 | STUTTGART | GERMANY >> >> >> Lightweight efficiency The potential for improving efficiency through the use of new materials determines the capabilities of major European industries. COMPOSITES EUROPE, as the most intensive industrial trade fair, depicts the topics of raw materials, semi-finished goods and process engineering in a user-friendly manner. The combination of innovation and production. The integration of know-how and materials. The platform for experts in world markets. ORGANISER PARTNER WWW.COMPOSITES-EUROPE.COM bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/11] Vol. 6 23

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