A UK businessman has proposed a plan to produce electricity by burning “body parts and organs”.
The 62-year-old Sussex man, Michael Burns, plans to turn medical waste such as bandages, blood products and nappies into clean energy.
His concept has caused uproar with the local community, who are concerned the process would lead to air and noise pollution.
According to The Telegraph, Mr Burns said rather than burning the waste in a traditional incinerator, his company Medipower would use a gasification process that would heat the waste to produce a synthetic gas which is ignited and converted to thermal energy.
“We have tried to treat waste as a precious fuel like gasoline or diesel,” he said.
“Who has got the nouse to challenge those large incineration companies and say look, there is better technology out there.
“We want an invention that helps the environment, not kills it, and our technology is the best out there. It’s all about the emissions.”
Mr Burns is a chemical engineer and has spent 11 years working on a technology that would combust plastic waste in the cleanest way possible.
He has since discovered burning plastic alongside biomass creates a “pretty good fuel”, which lead him to look at hospital waste.
“Medical waste from theatres has a high level of plastic and a high level of biomass from things like paper tissues, gowns and nappies,” he said.
“We get paid by the tonne to take the waste and believe we will be able to hugely undercut the companies currently being paid by the NHS to take this waste to landfill.”
Although the permit application lists “body parts and organs including blood bags” among the materials to be incinerated, Mr Burns said “there are no arms and legs”.
If successful in his application, the plant, the first of its kind, would burn 10.5 tonnes of hospital waste a day, creating enough thermal energy to power hundreds of homes.