Major benefits of recycling metals

There are many benefits to recycling metal. Material owners, boiler owners and society as a whole benefit from increasing the recycling rate of metals. Through Norditek's technology for separating and recycling metals, it is possible to do much more in this area than is currently being done.

With Our sorting technology and the very powerful eddy current magnets we use, it is now possible to separate even small particles of non-magnetic metals. This technology enables major economic and environmental gains in most areas. For boiler owners, it means avoiding the major problem of aluminum clogging the air holes and leading to costly downtime.

The recycling of metals from construction waste

When demolishing old buildings, there is a lot of metal to be recycled. The metal is found in taps, pipes, brass handles and much more. Metal that is magnetic is relatively easy to recycle while non-magnetic metal is more difficult to separate from the waste. This is where Our technology comes in. With Our eddy current magnet, all metal from old buildings can be separated and recycled, both before the waste is burned and after.

Separating the metal before burning provides the most value

Metals that are removed from the first stage, i.e. before it is burned in the heating plant, provide the most value. A metal that has not been exposed to heat is a higher quality metal. Recycling thus provides a higher degree of refinement and the owner of the material gets more value from the waste. However, if the metal has been burned, it is still possible to separate very weakly magnetic, or non-magnetic, metals from the ash.

Metal recovery from waste wood

Recycled wood containing non-combustibles is also a problem-free option. Wood collected for recycling can include window frames, boards with fittings, nails, pallets, etc. These are mixed materials containing metals but also plastics, concrete, glass and other materials.

Here we use the same technical solution to improve the quality of recycled wood. Partly by reducing the fine material in the final product, partly by - with the help of the eddy current magnet and Norditek's windshifter - removing impurities with a different density, such as plastics, aluminum, etc. The aim here is to achieve the same end result for both metal waste, plastic waste, etc.

The picture shows a plant that separates metals from waste wood.

Metal recycling of household waste has major benefits

The most valuable and environmentally friendly recycling of metals is that which takes place before the metal is burned. This is partly because the value of the metal is higher, and partly because burning often causes expensive production stoppages in municipal heating plants, which is a common problem across the country. It is caused by aluminum packaging that ends up in the household waste and which the garbage truck then drives to the CHP plant for incineration. For example, when the aluminum is fired in the boiler, it melts and flows into the air holes where it solidifies and creates problems, very costly ones.

These include cans, butter package covers, tea lights, beer cans, pie tins and more. Every year, several tons of aluminum residues have to be chopped away, which is both a time-consuming task and very costly downtime.

By using Norditek's technology to separate the metals before the problem occurs, many millions of kronor can be saved. This is partly about the operation of the heating plant and partly because it is unnecessary to put in materials that do not burn. This applies to metals, but also stone and glass, for example. When this is separated before firing, the material owner receives increased revenue through higher revenues on the end products.

Metal recovery from slag ash

By applying extremely high magnetic forces, it is now possible to sort out small and weakly magnetic particles such as precious metals from slag ash.

Previously, these metals could not be extracted from fractions below three millimeters, but thanks to a new technology with a very powerful eddy current separator, metals can now be extracted from even the finest fractions.

All the metal that falls out the other side after burning can now be sorted. These include metals such as aluminum, zinc, lead and even precious metals such as gold and silver. This means that the recycling rate increases significantly. There are currently close to 300 plants in Sweden that supply electricity and district heating, and when the slag gas, which is the residual product, contains metals (which it almost always does), there are great opportunities to extract more value from it.

Lots of metal in the ground at old firing ranges

Old firing ranges are another problem where the separation and recycling of metals offers major environmental benefits. Shooting ranges contain everything from shrapnel to ammunition and bullets, contaminating the soil and making it unusable unless the metals are separated from the mass.

The advantage of using Norditek's metal recycling technology when handling masses from old firing ranges is that you get both a clean soil, which can be used again, but also the metals themselves, which have a high value.

More benefits of recycling metals and other materials

Both the environment and society benefit from using Norditek's technology for recycling metals and other materials. Recycling the material adds value, reduces downtime in heating plants and leads to reduced transportation of ash and stone and reduced mining.
In addition, the use of these fuels also generates significantly less ash, which helps boiler owners reduce their ash management costs. Since materials such as metal, stone and glass do not burn, there is no need to put them in the boiler.

Large amounts of energy are saved when virgin material does not need to be extracted. Taking aluminum as an example, 95% of the energy otherwise needed to create new aluminum is saved. In the case of steel recycling, we save 75% of the energy.

Material owners, boiler owners and society as a whole benefit from increasing the recycling rate of metals.

Norditek 2021

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