Monday, October 25, 2021
IndiaResearchers devise method to tackle Covid-19 PPE waste

Researchers devise method to tackle Covid-19 PPE waste

Published: 24th Sep 2021 8:00 pm

New Delhi: Researchers from the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)’s Pune-based National Chemical Laboratory (CSIR-NCL), Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), and several other companies from Pune have pooled their expertise to manufacture moulded
plastic components from COVID-19 PPE waste.

The project, which is presently on a pilot scale, has been found to have the
potential to be scaled up and replicated throughout the country to convert PPE
waste into useful and safe products.

The pilot project is aided by Reliance Industries and CSIR-Indian Institute of
Petroleum (CSIR-IIP) Dehradun, with funding from the CSIR. It mainly involved
converting the decontaminated PPE waste (mainly comprising PPE
suits/overalls) into an easily processable and upcycled agglomerated form
(pellets or granules).

The waste PPE kits were collected and decontaminated by Passco
Environmental Solutions, a waste management company located in Pune. CSIR-
NCL has secured all regulatory approvals needed from Maharashtra Pollution
Control Board (MPCB) to complete the pilot trial.

The scientists ensured that the polymer pellets show the right attributes
necessary for successful conversion to produce non-food applications,
including high-performance automotive components.

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In a proof-of-concept study, a team from CSIR-NCL has also successfully
demonstrated the lab-scale manufacture of moulded automotive products
from the decontaminated PPE plastic waste (at M/s Niky Precision Engineers,
Pune) by leveraging the existing recycling infrastructure available in Indian

As per an estimate, more than 200 tons of COVID-19 related waste was
generated across the country every day in May 2021. So far, this hazardous
PPE waste is incinerated at central waste management facilities. However, incineration is energy-intensive and leads to the release of harmful greenhouse

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