Posted on 13/06/2014 in category Convention

Recent BIR World Recycling Convention & Exhibition in Miami (1-4 June 2014)

 Shredder Committee: Copper content holds the key

Although its total steel scrap imports were lower in 2013 than in 2012, Turkey increased its overseas purchases of shredded material, the latest BIR Shredder Committee meeting was informed by Abdullah Hosdir, Deputy Manager of Foreign Procurement at local steelmaker IÇDAS.

Turkey’s overall consumption of steel scrap fell more than 6% last year to 30.41m tonnes owing to more difficult market conditions and yet the country’s usage of shredded material increased by over 80,000 tonnes to 3.123m tonnes - or 10.27% of the total. Leading shredded suppliers in 2013 were the USA on 1.648m tonnes and the EU on 1.164m tonnes, while incoming volumes from the CIS region jumped from 37,426 tonnes in 2012 to 64,660 tonnes the following year - a “sharp increase” that Mr Hosdir expected to continue in 2014.

At the June 4 meeting in Miami chaired by Jens Hempel-Hansen of H.J. Hansen Recycling Industry A/S of Denmark, Mr Hosdir identified a number of production advantages to using shredded scrap, including yield gains and a reduction in air pollution, electricity consumption and electrode breakage. He also made clear that copper content is a major consideration when determining the amount of shredded scrap incorporated into a heat, adding that the proportion could go as high as 35-40% for good-quality, low-copper shredded scrap.

The importance of knowing the make-up of shredded scrap - including the all-important copper content - was emphasised by fellow guest speaker Dan Pflaum. The President of US-based Gamma-Tech, LLC summarised the attributes of his company’s CrossBelt Recycled Metal Analyser which works on the principle of prompt gamma neutron activation analysis and can be installed in-line with the shredder for ferrous, stainless and aluminium scrap. It is capable of handling production rates exceeding 400 tons per hour and does not activate the material, such that there is no measurable residual radioactivity as it exits the analyser.

The shredding process is “highly variable” and the continuing reliance on visual inspection is “somewhat of an embarrassment” in the modern era, Mr Pflaum contended. His company’s analyser therefore offers users the potential to differentiate their product and to “create a brand” for which certain consumers may be willing to pay a premium, he suggested.

Also in Miami, the Chairman of the European Shredder Group, Manuel Burnand, updated delegates on progress towards a Best Available Techniques (BAT) reference document for the shredding of non-hazardous metal waste. According to the current schedule, detailed questionnaires are to be sent to reference plants across Europe this summer with a view to compiling a first draft of the document by the end of this year. Companies operating shredders of non-hazardous metals, ELVs, and WEEE in the EU were advised to contact to access the draft BAT document.