• Safe Disposal of Vials and Ampoules

Laboratory Products

Safe Disposal of Vials and Ampoules

Jan 23 2007

Safe and economical emptying and disposal of vials, ampoules and small bottles is made easy with a range of equipment specifically designed for this purpose by Balcan Engineering Ltd.

The Lincolnshire-based business, which won a Queens Award for Enterprise in 2006, has developed equipment which it supplies to laboratories, hospitals, universities and research institutes all over the world.

To reduce the risk of sparks, all Balcan's machines are manually or pneumatically operated and made throughout of stainless steel. The mechanisms won't allow any containers to pass through unbroken and won't become clogged by the metal, rubber or plastic closures fitted to these small containers. By crushing, rather than pulverizing, the glass, any liquids remaining in the containers separate more easily. An added advantage is the huge reduction in the volume of glass - up to 80%-which can significantly cut disposal costs.

The Balcan range has four basic types of vial/bottle crushers. The Mark 1 bottle crusher breaks and empties unwanted glass bottles from 165mm(6 ½ inches) down to 100ml sizes. Available wall, bench, drum or trolley mounted, liquids and glass are discharged through the open base into a suitable
container or disposal system.

The Mark 2 is for ampoules, vials and small glass bottles from 1ml (8mm diameter) A/S vials to 100ml sizes. This features an adjustable breaking chamber and is compact enough to be operated inside fume cabinets -the pneumatic model can be worked remotely from outside. Trolley mounted, the disposal system becomes portable and self-contained.

For plastic vials, the Mark 3 vial splitter enables these containers to be safely cut and the liquid contents retrieved for safe disposal with the minimum noise or generation of aerosols. Fully automatic, this machine is now fitted with an automatic feeder hopper. The Mark 3 can be quickly adjusted to take different sizes of container. Because it is pneumatically operated, it can be used with corrosive, volatile or radio-active liquids as well as aqueous based bio-degradable products, overcoming the previously common labour intensive method of loading vials into cassettes. It is ideal for use with scintillation vials.

For organisations with high volume disposal needs the Mark 4, a larger version of the Mark 2, has the capacity to handle up to 40,000 ampoules, vials or small bottles an hour, the average being around 20,000. This machine has been redesigned to cope with the high volume user - usually in the pharmaceutical sector - and is now robust enough to handle thicker walled containers than the original model. New easy-adjust features mean that even the smallest vials cannot pass through unbroken. Water spray can be added to assist the flow of viscous liquids and rinse debris and Balcan can also supply an extractor system so this machine can be operated at negative pressure and fumes ventilated away.

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