The COVID-19 pandemic has exerted great shocks and challenges to the environment, society and economy. Simultaneously, an intractable issue appeared: a considerable number of hazardous medical wastes have been generated from the hospitals, clinics, and other health care facilities, constituting a serious threat to public health and environmental sustainability without proper management. Traditional disposal methods like incineration, landfill and autoclaving are unable to reduce environmental burden due to the issues such as toxic gas release, large land occupation, and unsustainability. While the application of clean and safe pyrolysis technology on the medical wastes treatment to produce high-grade bioproducts has the potential to alleviate the situation. Besides, medical wastes are excellent and ideal raw materials, which possess high hydrogen, carbon content and heating value. Consequently, pyrolysis of medical wastes can deal with wastes and generate valuable products like bio-oil and biochar. Consequently, this paper presents a critical and comprehensive review of the pyrolysis of medical wastes. It demonstrates the feasibility of pyrolysis, which mainly includes pyrolysis characteristics, product properties, related problems, the prospects and future challenges of pyrolysis of medical wastes.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.