SageTech Medical case study
SageTech Medical Ltd successfully applied for the Devon Net Zero Innovation Fund to use the University of Plymouth’s expertise to test and optimise the adsorptive material they use to recover anaesthetic gases.
SageTech Medical Ltd is a Paignton-based technology company with expertise in the fields of medicine, scientific research and engineering. Recognising and responding to the global climate crisis, SageTech Medical was founded in Devon in 2015 by a team of scientists and engineers to reduce waste anaesthetic agents that are harmful to the environment.
In recent years, attention has turned toward the impact of the potent greenhouse gases in anaesthetic agents. Currently, these gases alone are responsible for around 2% of all NHS emissions – using a bottle of desflurane has an equivalent global warming impact as burning 440kg of coal.
Connecting the chemistry lab with business, Low Carbon Devon supported research into the capture of harmful anaesthetic gases exhaled by patients during surgery. The captured gas can be recycled and purified saving it from being released into the atmosphere and resulting in the creation of a reduced carbon product that can be resold.
What were the challenges?
  • Development of an adsorptive capture material with the aim to:
    • Minimise the loss of volatile anaesthetic agents to the atmosphere by increasing the binding strength of the adsorptive material.
    • Maintain the performance of the adsorptive material to increase the overall lifetime
The Devon Net Zero Innovation Fund funded ten weeks of practical research – overseen by Dr Lee Durndell and his co-investigator Dr Vannia Dos Santos Durndell – enabling access to academic expertise and specialist laboratory equipment. 
Dr Lee Durndell is an Early Career Researcher and Lecturer in Chemistry, his research expertise focuses on the development of novel next-generation materials and processes for sustainable chemical and energy generation/storage, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and tackle the climate change crisis. 
Dr Vannia Dos Santos-Durndell is a Senior Technician in the radionuclide facility CoRIF and postdoctoral researcher in hierarchically structured materials with catalytic activity for the transformation of biomass and waste materials into biofuels, value-added products and platform chemicals.
What was the outcome?
  • Two new innovations are being actively pursued by SageTech Medical to continue the development of its capture material
  • Enhanced adsorption of volatile anaesthetic gases
  • Generated commercial activity
  • Created more jobs with the potential for more as the company grows
  • A reduction in carbon footprint from the company and their customers.
Dr Calum Robertson, Research Scientist, SageTech Medical says:
"The support from the Devon Net Zero Innovation Fund and Low Carbon Devon team has enabled SageTech Medical to further reduce the carbon footprint of our products and services." 
What next?
Following the successful improvement of their capture material SageTech Medical are in the process of scaling up this work by seeking additional funding to continue this work with Dr Lee Durndell for a further 12-month project. 
 
The Low Carbon Devon project was a five-year European Regional Development Fund project held at the University of Plymouth supporting Devon businesses to transition to the low carbon economy closing in mid-2023.
The project served as a catalyst for low carbon economic growth in Devon via the Future Shift internship programme, a series of free events and by connecting enterprises with expertise within the University of Plymouth.
The project collaborated with over 130 innovative Devon enterprises who are developing sustainable practices and securing opportunities in the low carbon economy.
To find out more about the University of Plymouth's business services visit Enterprise Solutions
 
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