Processing technology

Continual investment means greater accuracy and better quality

We invest in the most advanced plant and equipment, which means we're able to process scrap more effectively and produce the highest quality end products. Furthermore, this enables us to operate at maximum efficiency and minimise emissions. We're also actively pioneering projects to become a zero waste company which when complete will allow us to generate more energy than we actually use.

Densification

We densify our material using balers and shears to maximise haulage efficiency and prepare material ready for the furnace or foundry. 

  • Balers - we operate various types of mobile and fixed hydraulic balers. Our mobile car balers are the size of a standard articulated vehicle and can be operational within minutes of being deployed. They bale a car in around 50 seconds. Next we have static HRB balers which are generally used for baling lighter material including tin cans and aluminium. Our non-ferrous balers vary in size from small hand-fed to medium-sized high-density machines. Our ferrous balers work under extremely high pressure to compress ferrous scrap into high-density bales ready for charging to furnace.
  • Shears - hydraulic shears include pre-compression shears which pre-compress scrap in a charging box before cutting the material to a required length to meet steelworks and foundry specifications. Our mobile (pre-compression) shears with a cutting force of up to 800 tonnes, can be driven into a site and can be operational within minutes of arriving. Our fixed (pre-compression) shears have a cutting force of up to 2000 tonnes and are capable of processing up to 70 tonnes per hour. Hydraulic shear attachments are operated by a mobile crane and have a cutting force of up to 2500 tonnes on a single blade.

Vehicle de-pollution

We are highly proficient at vehicle recycling due to our specialist equipment and data management system. The battery, wheels and any hazardous parts are removed before purpose built de-pollution rigs remove all operating fluids, so that as much as of the vehicle as possible is recycled. When the vehicles have been de-polluted, they then go through our shredding process. 

Fridges and electrical equipment

EMR operate specialist facilities that process fridges and other electrical equipment to the standards set by legislation. These facilities capture ODS gases (ozone depleting substances) and operate using magnetic, eddy-current and air separation systems to make sure we recycle every scrap possible. 

Heavy lift and processing of large plant and equipment

EMR can arrange heavy lifts of up to 120 tonnes. We also have lifting frames which are rated up to 35 tonnes and specialised long weighbridges which can accurately weigh up to 80 tonnes. We can process locomotives, heavy machinery, boilers, transformers, generators, silos, tanks, bridge sections and gantries to name a few. Once we receive heavy items we flame cut them into smaller sections before processing them further.

Ship, barge and platform breaking

With our specialised marine recycling centres we are experts in the field of vessel, barge and platform breaking with huge capacity to manage fleet clearance. EMR has wide experience of dismantling commercial, government and military vessels and platforms. We tailor our service to meet specific requirements such as hazardous material assessment, de-pollution, equipment recycling, and data management.

Cable granulation

Our advanced cable granulation technology results in the recovery of copper, lead, steel and plastic from virtually any type of copper cable. Once sampled and graded, the cable is shredded or stripped. Cable stripping is used to remove lead from lead covered copper cable. Shredding is used to reduce the size and remove steel from steel armoured cable. Next the cores of cable are granulated. The granulation process removes the steel and plastic. The plastic residue is processed further to extract any copper left over from granulation.

Catalytic converters

We grade, buy and process converters to concentrate the precious metals rhodium, palladium and platinum that are used as a catalyst to reduce the harmful emissions from engines. These precious metals can then be extracted and refined so that they can be reused.

Shredding

Shredding material down to optimum size means we produce a high quality product and allows the re-capture of materials for further processing which would otherwise be lost. We have extensive and high-tech shredders for ferrous, non-ferrous and waste electrical equipment. This equipment includes one of the world’s largest mega-shredders which has 10,000 horsepower and can recycle a car every fifteen seconds - that's about 2,000 cars a day.

Post-shredder advanced metal separation

Once the metals are recovered through shredding, there is a residual stream which is made up of some remaining metal fragments, plastics, foam, glass, aggregates, wood, textiles, rubber and water. This residue is commonly landfilled or incinerated as it is considered too expensive or complicated to recover. However, at EMR we employ our own technology for separation of these materials using a number of methods:

  • Density separation using heavy media – after sizing, the shredder residue enters a series of flotation tanks which results in separation of the different materials contained in the residue according to their atomic weights. Following this, aluminium is then dried to prevent oxidation and retain its purity. 
  • Magnetic and induced current separation – shredder residue passes over a coil embedded in the base of the separator inducing a current. This signal is used to identify and locate the metallic pieces and then ejects them from the material stream.
  • X-ray and colour separation – shredder residue is passed over an x-ray device which scans and separates the different components of the material stream.

These processes produce streams of additional recovered metals, aggregates, rich plastics and a combustible fraction to be converted into energy.

Plastic recovery

We send the plastic rich fraction to the recycling plant which has been developed with our joint venture partners, MBA Polymers Inc. The facility represents a major innovative step and is one of the world’s most advanced plastic recycling facilities with the capacity to recycle 80,000 tonnes of plastic every year.

The concentrated plastic rich stream is reduced to a uniform size and then enters a series of screeners, classifiers, washing lines, metal separators and other sorting systems which have been specially customised for this process. The patented system used produces high-purity plastics pellets, most notably, polypropylene, polyethylene, polystyrene and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS). The end product plastic grades are of such high-quality that they are used as a direct replacement for virgin material.

This revolutionary technology means we are leading the metal and plastic recycling industries and takes the recycling rates to around 90% of the material we receive.

Waste to energy

Having recovered all that is suitable for recycling we have plans to turn the rest into electricity through a second joint venture named Innovative Environmental Solutions (IES) that will be operated with our partners at Chinook. The first IES plant is intended to start production at the end of 2012.

Using patented technology, we propose to put the waste through a non-incineration pyrolysis process that will turn it into energy. This would represent a significant development in “End Stage Recycling” and by diverting it from landfill and transforming the remaining waste residue into a sustainable fuel which is more efficient than coal. It will also allow us to recycle the last remaining metals which were previously unrecoverable. At this point we will have achieved our goal of zero waste and will produce more energy than we actually consume, making us a truly sustainable business.

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