We often hear about the problems concerning the disposal of metal sludge and how it has been weighing more and more on the pockets of Italian entrepreneurs.
But what are sludge materials?
They are production scraps resulting from sharpening, mirror polishing or grinding operations, consisting of Hard Metal powder mixed with oils or with emulsions of oil and water.
An important aspect to keep in mind is that these liquids, necessary to cool and lubricate the tools that carry out production, are classified as hazardous waste. So the sludge generated by their combination with production waste, must be managed appropriately and in compliance with the current regulations.
During our ten-year solid Hard Metal scrap recovery and recycling activities, we have often come across companies having difficulty with disposing of this type of waste correctly. Additionally, the tungsten carbide contained in this sludge material is a precious resource for us, producers of Hard Metal items.
How to combine both of these aspects?
In 2017, we decided to take a path that would lead us to inaugurate, shortly after, a plant capable of extracting the oily portions from these sludge; thus obtaining a dry powder that can be reused in our production cycle.
Therefore achieving a bilateral advantage:
- On the one hand, those who have this production waste have the support of our expertise in the matter and are freed from the economic burden that comes with disposal;
- On the other hand, we have the possibility of obtaining a raw material without affecting the natural mine resources, so incurring evident benefits from an environmental and ethical standpoint.
Our plant has a minimal environmental impact as it is almost exclusively based on a physical recovery process, which does not involve the use of chemicals. It makes use of a drying oven capable of bringing the sludge material to high temperatures, until the complete evaporation of its oily portion, thus avoiding any combustion. Once evaporated, the oil is then condensed and stored in special containers, destined for appropriate disposal as hazardous waste. The powder obtained, purified of the oily portion, is instead subjected to a series of laboratory analyzes. This is done in order to determine adherence to the requisites for immediate use in our factories, or to evaluate the possible need for subsequent treatments.
The process takes place in absolute safety thanks to the presence of a post-burner next to the evaporation chamber, which is tasked with breaking down any portion of material that could not be re-condensed. The temperature of the post-combustion chamber (> 920 ° C, temperature at which any type of pollutant is reduced), prevents the harmful substances contained in the oil from being released into the atmosphere.
Our chimney respects all the parameters imposed by law and is subjected to regular annual checks. Furthermore, the entire cycle of handling dried powders is enclosed and managed through a glove-box. Thanks to this, none of the operators ever come into contact with the powders during the “canning” activities.
More and more companies have understood the advantage of relying on us to dispose of their sludge material. Our recycling plant is operational everyday, recovering up to 160 kg of sludge in each 12 hour cycle.
If you have this type of waste, do something good for your business and your surrounding environment: Contact Us!