PST-facility arisen from the drawing board
The reason for the existence of ARN Recycling is the construction of a facility in Tiel for processing shredder waste into usable material flows according to PST. The PST facility, set to go into operation in the second quarter of 2011, is meant to contribute to achieving the statutory target of 95% recycling of car waste by 2015. Replacing manual sorting prior to shredding with an industrial process after shredding, also aims to reduce recycling costs. Following a long period of preparation, construction of the PST installation itself was started in April 2010.
The processing of shredder waste is carried out using mechanical separation techniques in a number of stages, including sieving according to particle size, separation in air or liquid based on density, and magnetism. The innovative character of the installation lies in the combination of stages, processes and handling units with a view to ending up with the cleanest possible material that can be sold on to industrial users. The process, developed by Volkswagen ag and SiCon gmbh, is known as the vw-SiCon® process. ARN Recycling operates its own laboratory for testing the quality of the materials at the end of the processing line, so that any necessary improvements can be made to the process itself.
Three main flows
The first step in the handling process consists of separating the three main flows from the shredder waste: minerals, plastics and fibres. Each of these three material flows is then ‘cleaned up’.
• Minerals. The fine and coarse mineral fractions, including sand, rust and glass, released during the cleaning stages can be stored in German salt mines. ARN, however, is carrying out further investigation into possibilities for reuse in the brickmaking industry, and for application as a construction material.
• Plastics. Three plastic end fractions have been classified according to density. The light fraction (lighter than 1.1 kg/dm3) is transported to a French plastic compounder who turns it into granulate; part of this fraction is then supplied to the French car manufacturer Renault. The middle fraction (1.1 – 1.3 kg/dm3) is used as a reducing agent for the production of iron in blast furnaces in Germany, replacing coke as a primary raw material. The heavy fraction (heavier than 1.3 kg/dm3), that itself consists of two components, pvc-type plastics and copper, is transported to a metal recycling firm in Belgium, where the copper is removed.
• Fibres. The fibres are used for sludge dewatering by water boards, in Germany. ARN is currently investigating other possible applications.
ARN Recycling intends to identify a possible sales channel for the dust from the dust removal installation, once the facility has been up and running for some time. Only then will it actually be possible to determine the composition of the dust and on that basis identify suitable buyers.
The role of ARN Recycling is to make the materials, that emerge following the cleaning of the shredder waste, suitable for high-end applications. The purpose of halting the so-called down-cycling process is that the material produced by ARN Recycling can subsequently be reused as replacement for primary material.
ARN Recycling is calling in the services of other ARN operating companies in identifying sufficient numbers of the right kinds of customers for these materials.
The total processing capacity of the PST facility, when operating in three-shift service, will be 100,000 tonnes of shredder waste per year. Initially, in 2011, the facility will only operate a day shift and will be capable of handling between 30,000 and 35,000 tonnes of shredder waste a year. This is approximately the annual volume of shredder waste from Dutch cars. The remaining capacity can be deployed for processing shredder waste from other production flows. Each year, in total approximately 180,000 tonnes of shredder waste are produced in the Netherlands, including shredder waste from scrapping luxury goods such as white and brown goods and bicycles.
The PST facility currently employs a staff of thirteen including operators and service engineers. They are all relatively highly qualified. The intention is that during the start-up phase they contribute ideas on necessary adjustments to the installation, which should lead to the optimum tuning of the handling process. They will also gain a thorough understanding of the maintenance management system. In this way, when the facility moves up to three-shift operation, operators will be available who know all the ins and outs of the system.
The commissioning of the PST facility means that ARN will stop paying contributions for the dismantling of a number of materials. These include bumpers, grilles, coconut fibre, pur foam, rubber strips, safety belts and hub caps. The payment for the dismantling of glass will also be halted as soon as legislation has been adapted to this effect. ARN expects this to be some time in 2011.
ARN Recycling is currently negotiating with the shredder firms on the terms and conditions for the delivery of shredder waste – prices, quantities and material types. An important principle in these negotiations is that the playing field for the sale of shredder waste must remain level for all shredder companies processing Dutch cars.
Sustainable industrial process
The PST facility aims to be a role model for a sustainable industrial process. The sustainable processing of shredder waste will contribute over the entire chain to less emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (co2). As a result, the entire chain will enjoy a smaller co2 footprint, thereby imposing fewer burdens on energy requirements and the environment. ARN Recycling is aiming to have its environmental management system certified in accordance with the iso 14.001 standard in 2012.
During the construction of the PST facility, measures were taken to protect the environment and to create the safest and healthiest possible working conditions.
Developments in 2010
- Start on the construction of the PST installation.
- Twelve new employees taken on board.
Outlook for 2011
- Testing of PST installation components.
- PST facility to be commissioned.
- Determination of material composition in the dust removal installation.
- Investigation into the possibilities for the reuse of minerals in the brickmaking industry and elsewhere.
- Conclusions of agreements with shredder companies for the supply of shredder waste.
- Further preparations for certification of the environmental management system according to the iso 14.001 standard in 2012.