[Histonet] Recycled reagents in VIP processor

Jason McGough jmcgough at clinlab.com
Mon Feb 27 16:19:08 CST 2017

Here is our experience with recycled reagents:

We have been recycling Xylene and Alcohol since 12-2008. It can work well for you and save you money.
	It was a challenge to put it in play where it made the recycling program a good thing. We found out that the theoretical and the reality of recycling are not the same thing and you may need to "find" a way to make it work. The first truth about recycling is that you can recycle and retain a large portion of your alcohol but with special considerations. The recycler that we purchased will only recover a purity quality of about 95-97% alcohol back in product. That meant that we were stock piling huge volumes of 95% and still required to purchase 100% vendor grade for most processes. This was a nightmare event for us. I got cleaver and measured the alcohol percentages of our processors (the biggest consumer of alcohols) and found that the actual values in the 100% alcohol (x4) stations were closer to 94%, 96%, 97%, 99% (an alcohol  hydrometer was used for this measurement). I then realized that I could use the 95% alcohol in the processors to use it up. I modified the preventative maintenance to change out all of the first 3 alcohols to 95% recycled alcohol and the very last one remains at 100% vendor grade alcohol, we also do not keep any alcohol that is not at a 95% value or higher. any 70% alcohol is just discarded at change out.
		(before this recycler plan our preventative maintenance plan was to use the reagents in the processor for 3 weeks by a bump-&-dump method; the first reagent in a series would be dumped each week and all of the reagents of that series after that station were moved (bumped) down into the station prior, then last station was always new 100% vendor grade reagent. This allowed us to "use up" the reagents and not replace them to often. This also retains a certain amount of consistency within the processing system so microtomy doesn't' experience changes when maintenance is performed on the processors.)
	Along with this processor modification I adjusted the changing of all these 95% alcohols off  the instrument twice a week to be sure that they didn't drop too low and affect processing quality, the last station still remains at 100% vendor grade reagent. I would be glad to give you more details on how this worked for us if you would like to hear more about it or have my help to set up your program. One of my thinking processes for recycling program is to change out the reagents as often as you can/need/ or want to. to keep the quality high enough for the function it is used for. Remember that you are taking it out of use often but not throwing it away. The conservation of your reagents, and dollars, lies in the repeated use of the same reagents so  you do not have to be "stingy" with the preventative maintenance changes. other thoughts; you still need to purchase 100% vendor grade reagents for some processes, but that is OK, because that becomes a way to bolster up your recycled quality and fight off the reality of diminishing returns. Recycling also decreases your waste being hauled off so it decreases the dollars in waste removal.
	The recycling of Xylene is excellent and we get a purity return of about 99.9% back on every recycling run.
Once we started the recycling and had a program in place that actually worked for us, and with us, we were operating at a cost of about 30% of the prior operational cost for our Alcohol and Xylene.
We currently are operating at about 36.6% of the reagent costs for Alcohol and Xylene with todays pricing and our current volumes when compared to the old method of  "dump-&-bump" pm schedules.
We have 4 tissue processors and 2 stainers in use regularly. Our workload volumes allow this to work for us and save us a great deal of money.

You are welcome to call me and get answers to any questions you may have.

Scott Johnson, HTL (ASCP)

Histology Supervisor

Clinical Laboratory of the Black Hills


Jason McGough, HT(ASCP)

Operations Manager

Clinical Laboratory of the Black Hills


jmcgough at clinlab.com <mailto:jmcgough at clinlab.com> 

www.clinlab.com <http://www.clinlab.com> 

-----Original message-----
> From:Gareth Davis via Histonet <histonet at lists.utsouthwestern.edu <mailto:histonet at lists.utsouthwestern.edu> >
> Sent: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 1:42 PM
> To: histonet at lists.utsouthwestern.edu <mailto:histonet at lists.utsouthwestern.edu> 
> Subject: [Histonet] Recycled reagents in VIP processor
> Hi,
> I was always told not to use recycled reagents, i.e. Alcohol and Xylene, in
> processors.  I am using a VIP 300, refurbished, and I would rather not use
> recycled reagents in it.  But, during the last CAP inspection they
> suggested I use the recycled to save money.  And now my administration
> wants to cut cost.  Just wanted to know what labs were doing.
> Thanks,
> -- 
> Ms. Gareth B. Davis, B.S., HT, QIHC (ASCP)cm
> Yuma Gastroenterology
> Yuma, AZ 85364
> 928-248-5259
> _______________________________________________
> Histonet mailing list
> Histonet at lists.utsouthwestern.edu <mailto:Histonet at lists.utsouthwestern.edu> 
> http://lists.utsouthwestern.edu/mailman/listinfo/histonet <http://lists.utsouthwestern.edu/mailman/listinfo/histonet> 

More information about the Histonet mailing list