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For decades now, TSR Recycling GmbH & Co. KG has been one of the main suppliers of the steel industry providing businesses with eight million tonnes of scrap iron every year. Besides operating shears and balers, the Group also owns ten shredder facilities including two mega-shredders (6,000 horsepower). TSR has now set up a new company, REMINE, which will be employing more complex sorting processes in order to improve the way the different materials in the shredder output are separated from each other. Its goal: to efficiently recover more high quality raw materials from residual and/or waste materials.
The so-called ‘shredder heavy fraction’ (SHF) generated by the shredding process contains valuable non-ferrous metals and is already being successfully processed by TSR with all the metals being sent for materials recycling. Over the last few years, however, the company has observed a general trend towards a miniaturisation of electronic components. There has, for example, been a dramatic increase in the number of very small data cables or compact electric motors built into cars. In some cases, over 100 of these mini-motors are installed in upper mid-range vehicles. As the high quality metals found in these motors weigh so little, they often fall into the ‘shredder light fraction’ (SLF) category.
REMINE’s aim is to take the metals and plastics in the light fraction, separate them strictly according to type and then ensure that each individual fraction is sent on to the most appropriate processing facility. This is all possible thanks to the technological progress made by the recycling sector. New types of equipment and technology are now available on the market that are able to make more of the materials contained in the shredder light fractions compared to the machines that have been used up to now. At the same time, minimum recycling rates of end-of-life-vehicles (ELV) are to be increased in 2015. The current changes made to the recycling law could mean that the compulsory recycling rates will not be reached unless this new technology is used.
Valuable metals are increasingly being replaced by plastics – for example in toys, car interiors and even in temperature critical areas in vehicle engines. Other future challenges will include composite materials such as carbon fibres.
Innovative sorting technology improves recycling processes.
In order to find a solution to these challenges, REMINE GmbH is setting up a completely new type of modular processing facility at TSR’s location in Brandenburg. For the first time, a whole range of different materials will be examined individually and then separated according to their composition. At the end of the day, this kind of recycling is, effectively, a production process which uses its technology to recover the greatest possible amounts of marketable plastics and metals as well as other recyclable fractions. By using state-of-the-art technology, the company will be able to reduce volumes of waste and increase resource efficiency.