personal protective equipment (PPEs)

COVID-19 News

Researchers devise methods to tackle COVID-19 PPE waste

New Delhi, Sep 24: 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. 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 cities. 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 gasses. (India Science Wire) Keywords:  Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, CSIR, National Chemical Laboratory, CSIR-NCL, Reliance Industries Ltd, RIL, plastic,  COVID-19,  PPE, waste, pilot scale, Indian Institute of Petroleum, CSIR-IIP, pellet, granule,  Maharashtra Pollution Control Board,  incinerate, energy-intensive, greenhouse gas.

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India’s S&T Institutions Raise their Game Against COVID-19

New Delhi,  5 April (Jyoti Sharma / S.K. Varshney): COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, is making people all over the world go helter-skelter and clueless. As per ‘worldometer’, over one million people have already fallen prey to this virus as of writing this and the numbers are increasing thick and fast. Over 59,000 people have succumbed to death and still counting. In India, it has affected over 3000 people and has witnessed about 60 deaths so far. The World Health Organization (WHO) has pooled in resources and scientists from across the world in its search for a potential vaccine. India is also playing a big role in this at WHO. In addition, thousands of researchers around the world are offering their expertise, time and help through international platforms such as Crowdfight COVID-19 to fight against COVID-19. Researchers are also connecting through social media apps such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to provide their services voluntarily. With no vaccine in sight for at least the next 12-18 months, it seems the fight for rescuing humankind from this deadly virus has only just begun. With no real global consensus on the response mechanism, each nation is left to fend for itself when it comes protecting its own citizens. India’s quick response With over 1.3 billion people in Her bosom, the spread of coronavirus in India and India’s response mechanisms are being closely watched over by the rest of the world. Led by the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, India is battling this virus with all its might. Invoking the Disaster Management Act of 2015, India announced a complete lockdown on 25 March for a period of 21 days. The early announcement of a lockdown, when the infected count was less than 400, was well appreciated by WHO. Setting up of a COVID-19 Task Force and announcement of a series of ‘social distancing’ and other serious measures followed suit. A few such important measures are listed below. Started tracing contacts of COVID-affected people. Suspended all existing visas (except diplomatic, official, UN/international organisations, employment, project visas). Suspended all international and domestic flights, trains…