Composite Recycling Ltd has developed a patented process “Supernato” which uses molten zinc at temperatures of 450 – 500 degrees C. Uniquely the technology accepts bulk multiple wastes which significantly reduces capital and operational costs compared to standard processes. Testing has demonstrated that it takes substantially less time to break down the waste materials. Our process uses direct heat transfer which is the fastest heat transfer technique available. Therefore, the speed of decomposition cannot be exceeded by any other technology.
A further significant advantage of the “Supernato” process being a direct heat transfer process is that scale-up challenges are simplified with great cost efficiencies.
The chemical process underpinning “Supernato” is pyrolysis. Pyrolysis is a process executed under conditions which exclude oxygen. The considerable advantage of pyrolysis is that it can be self- sustaining by using the off gas from the process to maintain the operation heat requirements. Numerous scientific studies and our trials have proven the chemistry of the technology. As a result, the mass balance and hence amount of oil, gas and other waste related products is well established.
Concept layout of a plastics recycling plant
In a generic version the molten zinc provides the heat and separates the composite parts in a sink-float separation. As a result the process is very compact.
The Composite Recycling process adapts existing technologies reducing technological risk. The most capital intensive part of the process is the pyrolysis chamber, which has been adapted from the hot dip galvanizing industry. This is a low margin, mature industry. As a result the capital cost of a plant is relatively low.
The process developed by Composite Recycling delivers the following benefits relative to its competitors:
- Economically viable
- Whole wastes can be processed – no shredding / granulation /metals removal required
- Direct heat contact with molten zinc – no scale up difficulties, doubling the surface area of the molten zinc doubles throughput
- Direct heat contact with molten zinc – fastest possible heat transfer conditions
- Simple reactor, containing no moving parts
- No requirement to dry the materials
Benefits of Composite Recycling
Composite Recycling Ltd has developed a unique, patented process to recycle composite and single use plastics using molten zinc. This process has a number of important advantages over the traditionally used processes such as rotary kilns:
- Speed of whole waste plastic destruction is less than 30 minutes.
- Recovery of products is simple and efficient.
- No scale-up issues: doubling the surface area of the molten material doubles the throughput.
- Separation: Also simple. For example a tyre treatment system allows the carbon black to float on the molten zinc whilst the steel sinks achieving separation.
Composite Recycling owns the following patents referenced by their PCT application number:
- WO 2014 032843/A1 Process and System for Whole Tyres and Plastic Composites Pyrolysis
- WO 2014 167139/A2 Process for Recycling of Waste Batteries and PCBs