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This page was published on 02/03/2012
Published: 02/03/2012

   Infocentre

Published: 2 March 2012  
Related theme(s) and subtheme(s)
Environment
Health & life sciences
Industrial research
Success storiesEnvironment  |  Industrial research
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Microwaves blast dangers of asbestos

Ryszard Parosa, Supervising Board President at ATON-HT SA explained: "We have developed a new technology for the treatment of materials that contain asbestos".

Video in QuickTime format:  ar  en  es  fr  it  fa  pt  ru  tr  de  (9 MB)

The company's method sounds surprisingly simple; just zap the asbestos in a compact microwave at a 1,000 degrees Celsius, then once cooked, it is harmless.

Parosa continued: "Our technology can be used in a mobile system, which means our machine can be installed easily into a container. I think this is a very important advantage as it means we don't have to transport any dangerous waste."

ATON-HT's microwave technology could prove invaluable in Poland, where asbestos was widely used in construction until 1997.

Ewa Blazejowska, Vice President, ATON-HT SA described the process: "The problem with asbestos is that it contains fibres that go into the organism and these could cause cancer or other diseases. We've changed the structure of the material so there are no fibres inside. This means it's safe for the environment and for the people who work with it."

In Poland around 15 million tonnes of asbestos can still be found in landfills but not for much longer.

Blazejowska added: "Instead of leaving the problem of fibres and storage for the next generation, we can now deal with asbestos using microwave thermal treatment technology."

The EU driven project uses microwave technology to heat the asbestos evenly, meaning no fibres can escape. Once treated, the product that leaves the oven can be easily and safely re-used.

Parosa concluded: "The final product can, for example, be used to renovate roads. It can be mixed with cement to produce bricks and so on. Best of all, there's no waste left over."


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The video on this page was prepared in collaboration with Euronews for the Futuris programme, also available as a podcast.

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Countries
Countries
  Algeria
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Bangladesh
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Botswana
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Costa Rica
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czech Republic
  Denmark
  Ecuador
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Finland
  France
  Gambia
  Georgia
  Germany
  Ghana
  Greece