Halogenated ethers like isoflurane, desflurane, and sevoflurane are medicinally used as inhalation anestheics. For safety reasons, used air that is polluted with halogenated ethers has to be collected. Usually, the used air is directed through an adsorption agent (e.q. a zeolite structure) that is then taken to a waste disposal site. To recover the valuable halogenated ethers, InVerTec has developed a microwave desorption process that allows the anesthetics to be reused.
Compared to conventional heating methods, using microwaves allows the adsorbed chemicals to be heated selectively without unnecessarily warming the zeolite structure. This makes the process more economically efficient than a conventional procedure. Another advantage is that the temperature distribution inside the zeolite is more uniform because of the zeolite's transparency for microwave radiation. Because of this, the process time could also be significantly reduced.
After cleaning, the products can be used for medical purpose again.