Test have been caried out on four models (Mark 1, 2, 3 and 8a). The first one in 1999 and the latest in May 2003.
The results for the most recent test conducted on a Mark 8a, provide some interesting information.
During the first test, an average of one 5 litre sharp box with 100 syringes was loaded every 3.6 minutes which led to the emission of dense smoke. During the second test, the loading rate was brought down to one sharp box every 10.7 minutes: the average smoke density was reduced by nearly 50%.
In the secondary combustion zone, temperatures were over 800°C for most of the test duration.
Solid residues were in direct correlation with the loading rate. At the end of the first test there was some molten plastic amongst the ash below the grate, which had to be recycled to achieve complete combustion, confirming that the loading rate was too high for the burning rate of this size of incinerator. On the other hand. at the end of the second test, only grey ash was evident below the grate.
"The medical waste tested in the trial was rendered non-infectious, the syringes were destroyed and the needles were rendered unsuitable for use".
A fact sheet / discussion paper has been produced on this contreversial issue.