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SAIL’s Bhilai steel plant to be the first to use plasma technology for toxic waste disposal
State-run Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) would be using plasma technology for the disposal of hazardous waste for the conservation of the environment and natural resources.
The company would be the setting up a state of the art Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) management facility in collaboration with the United Nations Development Organisation (Unido) and the Ministry of Environment & Forests & Climate Change. The project would come up in SAIL’s flagship Bhilai steel plant (BSP).
PCBs are a class of synthetic organic chemicals that can be used in multiple forms for a variety of industrial purposes. PCBs, hence could be found in transformer oils, hydraulic systems, carbonless copy paper, paints, adhesives, sealants and plastic products.
These chemicals, however, are categorised as Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) under the Stockholm Convention, which an international agreement or managing Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). At present, India is a signatory of this convention.
Acknowledging the need for developing a state-of-art facility for the management and disposal of the accumulated PCB’s, SAIL had initiated a project to set up the Bhilai facility, said a senior Sail official. The project is being partly funded through a grant from Global Environment Facility (GEF) through Unido. SAIL has committed to co-finance the project by extending infrastructure facilities.
The disposal of such toxic waste would be done through the use of plasma technology. This is going to be the first time that UNIDO would be sharing the technology with India, the officer said, while adding that the facility would also be the first of its kind in the entire South Asia region.
The facility would have two process units for the safe disposal and decontamination of PCB waste -- the PCB Decontamination System and the Plascon Destruction System -- where the pure PCBs and other POPs shall be destroyed in the Plasma Arc system under controlled temperature conditions.
Plascon is one of the most environment-friendly, safe and economical technologies that has been designed to deal with hazardous and environmentally damaging substances.