Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Principles of Incineration

Burning waste has been a common means of disposal throughout history. In 1995, the EPA estimated that 16% of solid waste had been disposed of by some form of combustion. Incinerators reduce the volume of waste by about 90%, a significant reduction of waste that would otherwise go into a landfill. Incineration at high temperatures also destroys many of the toxins and pathogens in medical waste and other hazardous wastes, in addition to reducing the volume.

In order to understand how and why an incinerator works, it is important to understand exactly what incineration is. Many terminologies have been utilized when referring to incineration: pyrolysis, thermal oxidation, thermal destruction, etc., to name a few. By definition, incineration is to burn to ashes through a combustion process. That is probably the most relevant statement that can be made; all we are really doing is burning. The incinerator provides a means to control the combustion process through the application of engineered, proven technology.

Elastec/American Marine manufactures a variety of portable incinerators; MediBurn for medical waste incineration, Smart Ash for general refuse incineration, Oil Away Attachment for oil disposal, Smart Heat energy recovery incineration, Drug Terminator for confiscated drug disposal.

Most waste generated by human activity can be burnt in an incinerator. The main goal is to reduce the overall volume of the waste stream in a carefully controlled environment.