Mr Pieters, as we understand you are offering a new processing concept to the market, consisting of different modules. Can you explain this modular concept step-by-step?
Pieters: The basic module is our main processing plant on bottom ashes which has been completely overhauled and extended. And as a result of this process, we end up with three fractions of what we call ferrous concentrate, non-ferrous concentrate and a remainder mineral fraction. So this is actually the first module.
Subsequently, the ferrous fraction that you recover is treated further in a specific facility?
Pieters: Yes, we own our own ferrous upgrading facility because the material coming out of the main factory still holds a lot of pollution in terms of ashes, can be 50, 60, 70 %. And the main purpose of this upgrading ferrous plant is to get rid of these remaining ashes in order to achieve a material of high quality which can be sold at better rates and prices.
As a further module you recently introduced a non-ferrous upgrade facility to your plant. Can you give us some background information on this?
Pieters: Yeah, that is a big part of our new investments, a very important part. In the past, we used to sell the non-ferrous concentrate - also coming out of our main processing plant - to in-between-parties which further treated them. By means of our own non-ferrous plant which holds a capacity of 50.000 tonnes per year -which is pretty high - we are now able to further purify these concentrates and to obtain, let me say pure metals, pure aluminium, pure heavy metals such as copper, and even precious metals to be sold directly to the end users.
This way, you increase the value coming from incinerated household waste.
Pieters: It is obviously there to increase the value but it also helps to increase the recovery rates which is an important goal within the Green Deal and should be an important goal for everyone surely environmentally.
As you mention the environmental context: What are you doing in respect to the improvement of the aggregate quality of the bottom ash?
Pieters: The Green Deal imposed an additional treatment step. In our case we decided to invest in a washing plant, being under construction. At the end, the washing machine will hold a capacity, starting capacity of 300,000 tonnes of what we call GRANOVA and GRANOVA combimix. Those are the names of our main products at the moment that are sold to concrete applications, mainly, but also infrastructural works as a replacement of sand and grind. The ultimate goal being to obtain an end of waste status for these products.
Mr Pieters, could you give us more information on your latest innovation, the new non-ferrous recovery technology?
Pieters: Yeah, it is maybe also a bit difficult to explain, but we have a built-in technology which actually separates 2 until 8 mm out of the main process. And this fraction is extremely rich on non-ferrous content and value and actually serves as an input material on our non-ferrous plant. The whole invention is brand new and has been now invested, installed now with our sister company MAV in Erftstadt and is in the process of being protected intellectually.
And you want to take that further together with your parent company, REMEX, by promoting the whole modular processing concept internationally?
Pieters: Yes, that’s right. Together with the new technologies and the investments erupted let me say the possibility of a brand new business model. In the past, HEROS offered only one kind of solution, targeting the waste-to-energy industry and specifically targeting the bottom ashes. Today we can work together also with other recycling companies that already own part of the solutions but lack actually the expertise or the different technology solutions of HEROS or we can work together with waste-to-energy operators abroad that already invested in their own technology but like to improve that. So that is certainly true what you say, there are collaborations, in Erftstadt as I mentioned, in Singapore and we are currently looking for new possibilities.
REMEX is the industry leader in technology and innovation for incinerator bottom ash processing. The group bundles its know-how across this specialised field in the form of a modular concept comprising five technical elements, reaching from the central ash processing unit to the recovery and upgrade of ferrous and non-ferrous metals as well as the production of high-quality aggregates from mineral ash. Unique to the market is our new Non-Ferro technology called MERIT, which stands for the optimised recovery of valuable non-ferrous metals. Here, we combine experience gained over the past decades, creating additional value and new business models for our national and international customers.
MERIT for Non-Ferro Recovery
MERIT stands for Metal Recovery Intelligence. It has been developed internally and is currently being patented. Its use is decisive for significantly higher recovery of non-ferrous metals. Technically, it’s based on an air-sifting technology. Through its use, we can separate the fraction 0-2 mm of the IBA without losing valuable metals. The remaining sieve line of 2-8 mm is rich in non-ferrous metals and serves as input material for the Non-Ferro upgrade facility. 3D animation
Non-Ferro Metal Treatment
By means of our own upgrading facility MTF (Metal Treatment Facility), we are now able to independently purify and sort non-ferrous metals coming out of the central processing plant. Through this process, we obtain pure non-ferrous concentrates, including pure aluminium, pure heavy metals such as copper, and even precious metals. These concentrates can be directly used by smelting plants. 3D animation
Material coming out of the main facility still holds a lot of pollution in terms of ash, i.e. up to 70 %. This is why the material undergoes special treatment in our ferrous upgrading facility. The main purpose of this upgrading facility is to remove ash adhesions in order to achieve purer ferrous concentrates.
Bottom Ash Processing
The main processing plant for incinerator bottom ash serves as the base module. Treatment includes the use of different sieving techniques, magnet- and eddy current separators as well as a wind sifter. At the end of this process, we end up with three fractions, i.e. ferrous metals, non-ferrous metals and the remaining mineral fraction.