Recycling Shredder Residue Containing Plastics and Foam Using a Thermal Conversion Process 2005-01-0848
Shredder residue is a complex mix of many different materials that includes plastics, rubber, polyurethane (PU) foams, glass, metals and other materials such as rocks and dirt. The metal recyclers create this shredder residue mix as part of a recycling process to recover metals. The actual input stream for metal recycling is end-of-life automobiles, white goods and a variety of other metal-intensive parts including industrial scrap waste. This shredder residue is currently landfilled, and the European Union has implemented laws to reduce the amount of shredder residue from automobiles that can go into landfills. The Vehicle Recycling Partnership (VRP) is working with different collaborators to evaluate different technologies, including automated plastic recovery, as a means to reduce the amount of plastics that go to landfill in shredder residue.
A new technology that is under investigation by the VRP is a Thermal Conversion Process (TCP) that was developed by Changing World Technologies (CWT). This process can convert hydrocarbons and organic materials into marketable high-quality, clean fuels and specialty chemicals for industrial and commercial use. The end products (recovered) are partly a function of feedstocks and partly a function of the specific combination of temperature, pressure and residence time utilized. CWT processed a small amount of shredder residue that was supplied by Troy Polymers, Inc. (TPI). This shredder residue contained PU foam as well as polybrominated foam. CWT performed the depolymerization process as well as a number of specific tests on the output products and the results are presented in this paper.