Aluminium Recycling – Pyrocrat Systems

Aluminium is one of the most abundant element on the earth. Due to its low density and resistance to corrosion, it has a lot of applications in various industries. Due to its high strength to weight ratio, the metal is widely used in transportation industry for fabricating bodies of railway coaches. This helps in achieving high fuel efficiency. In construction industry, aluminium is preferred because of its corrosion resistance. Also, aluminium can be given beautiful finishing by bending it into curves which can’t be obtained in case of wood or iron. It is widely used in electronics in wiring and also for making cases and other hardware. It is widely used in packaging of food and beverages.

With such a wide range of usage of the metal, it is obvious that it will eventually produce waste in huge quantities. Aluminium is one of the major waste material in the category of e-waste. The cost of aluminium recycling is far cheaper than the cost of production. The cost of recycling is just 5% of  what is required to produce the metal from its ore i.e. bauxite. Hence it is preferred for aluminium to be recycled rather than extracting it from its ore. It is the only material that pays off really well for recycling. Brazil recycles up to 98.2% of the aluminium cans produced.

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Recycling of Aluminium

A variety of programs can be implemented to recycle aluminium. Municipal programs are one of the most popular ones for aluminium recycling.  In these programs, household items like beverage cans, aluminum foil, aluminum baking trays etc. are recycled.

Around 90 % of the aluminum in building and automotive parts is recycled at the end of use. All of these items can further be sent  to aluminum recyclers where the metal is melted down in the secondary production process. Approximately 75% of aluminium produced until now has been recycled and used.

Recycling Process

  1. Aluminium cans and other aluminium waste is  first segregated from municipal waste, using an eddy current separator. The waste is further shredded into smaller sized pieces to lessen the volume and make it easier for the machines that separate them.
  2. To minimize the oxidation losses when the metal melts, waste pieces are then cleaned chemically/mechanically.
  3. Metal blocks are loaded into the furnace and heated to 650 °C to 850 °C to produce molten aluminium.
  4. Chlorine and nitrogen gas is used for degassing to remove dissolved hydrogen and dross. Hexachloroethane tablets are used as source of chlorine gas.
  5. After spectroscopic analysis of the samples, metals like tin, copper, zinc, etc. can be added in appropriate quantities to obtain desired alloys.
  6. The molten mass can then be cast into desired shapes like rods, slabs, ingots, etc.

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E-waste Management

E-waste or electronic waste are the out of use electrical or electronic devices. Used electronics that are bound to be reused, resold, recycled, or to be disposed are also considered e-waste. Improper processing of e-waste can lead to environmental pollution and adverse health effects. Electronic waste includes washing machines, dryers, refrigerators, computers, television, mobile phones, etc. A great care must be taken while handling e-waste as land-filling or incinerating can lead to emission of toxic substances into the environment. Devices like Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) contains lead and phosphors that are necessary for display. But CRT is very difficult to recycle.

The development in technology causes older technology to be replaced. The newer technology is bought by the consumer and the consumer rejects the older products. These old products mostly land up as waste.  This is one of the major reasons for a huge growth in e-waste. The generation of E-waste is on an estimated 5% to 10% global increase in  each year.

Outdated electronic gadgets are quickly filling the landfills across the globe. In the United States itself, more than 100 million PCs are thrown off. Of these 100 million, less than 20% being reused. In the US alone, more than 100 million computers are thrown away with less than 20% being recycled properly of which 60 million metric tons enter landfills every year. Most gadgets that are carelessly discarded contain some type of destructive materials, for example, beryllium, cadmium, mercury and lead. These materials may be in trace, but when added to a huge volume, the risk to the earth is critical.

E-Waste Recycling

Electronic waste processing usually first involves dismantling the equipment into various parts (metal frames, power supplies, circuit boards, plastics), often by hand. In an automatic system, a hopper passes on material for shredding into a mechanical separator. with screening and crushing machines to isolate constituent metal and plastic parts, which are sold to smelters or plastics recyclers. Such reusing apparatus is encased and utilizes a tidy gathering framework. A portion of the discharges are gotten by scrubbers and screens. Magnets, eddy currents, and trommel screens are utilized to isolate glass, plastic, and ferrous and nonferrous metals.

Recycling raw materials from end-of-life gadgets is the best answer for the growing e-waste issue. Most electronic gadgets contain an various materials, including metals that can be recouped for future use. By dismantling and reusing the gadgets. Also, natural resources are conserved and air and water contamination caused by toxic wastes is avoided. Moreover, recycling decreases the amount of polluting substance discharged as in the case of manufacturing new products. Materials that can be reused incorporate ferrous and non-ferrous metals, glass, and different sorts of plastic. Non-ferrous metals, predominantly aluminum and copper would all be able to be re-smelted and re-manufactured. Ferrous metals, for example, steel and iron can be likewise be re-utilized.

Pyrocrat Systems is a waste management company by Suhas Dixit, based in Navi Mumbai, India that manufactures machinery for pyrolysis plants that convert plastic and tire waste into pyrolysis oil.

 

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Deonar Landfill Fire | Suhas Dixit | Pyrocrat Systems Review

Following satellite images dated January 2016 form NASA show the landfill site fire at Deonar, Mumbai. The landfill fire caused serious drip in air quality & smog around the city for several days. Pyrocrat Systems review the causes of the fire.

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Why Landfill Site Catches Fire?

A landfill fire occurs when waste dumped of in a landfill site ignites & fire spreads. In landfills that do not cover their waste with daily cover of soil, biological decomposition creates substantial heat & methane. This flammable combination of heat and methane gas cause materials in the landfills to spontaneously ignite.

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Landfill methane & fire

What most of us do not know is: Municipal Solid Waste disposed of in landfill generates 2 to 15 kg of “landfill gas” per metric ton of waste per year. Landfill gas generally contains 45-60% methane and 45-60% of Carbon Dioxide. Methane is 25 to 30 times more potent green house gas and contributes marginally to global worming. Methane generated from landfill sites is highly flammable. Typically the landfill site has about 100 to 300 feet height of garbage stacked over area of several hectors. Such a huge mass of garbage generates hundreds of kilograms of methane every day. Thousands of kilograms of methane remains trapped several feet below surface, waiting to ignite.

Pyrocrat Systems Review on Preventive Mearures

Large scale landfill fires indicate lack of following preventive measures:

  1. Scientific Waste Management: Effective segregation, material  recovery and composting of daily municipal solid waste. Government of India has established MSW Rules 2000 for effective management and handling of municipal solid waste. Machinery and Technology is now available to recycle up to 80% of municipal solid waste. This ensures that only 20% quantity of waste reaches landfill site & thereby reduce the fire risk and landfill emission by 80%.
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  2. Cover the landfill with scientific layer of rock bed, geo-textile and soil. Drill methane capture wells in the landfill sites to collect underground methane to fire/explosion.pyrocrat systems review
  3. Methane Capture and Flaring/Utilization: The landfill gas must be captured using a scientifically proven methods to prevent landfill fires. Captured methane can be used for power generation.
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  4. Bio-remediation and scientific landfill site closure: Bio-remediation is the use of biological methods to degrade, disintegrate, transform and/or eliminate contaminants from municipal solid waste. Bio-remediation is a natural process that utilizes the normal life functions of bacteria, fungi & plants. Bio-remediation and scientific closure of landfill site is essential to prevent fire and emission of hazardous landfill gas.
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