UK’s Tetronics International supports Germany’s car recycling efforts

Germany’s outstanding track record for recycling scrapped cars is set to further improve after Tetronics International, a global leader in environmentally friendly resource recovery solutions, announces its plasma arc technology has gone live at Duesmann & Hensel Recycling’s plant near Frankfurt.

Duesmann & Hensel Recycling is a global player in the precious metals recycling field and are currently responsible for circa 10% of the global recycled automotive catalytic converter market.

Swindon UK based Tetronics’ plasma arc technology is now being used to process and recover value from catalytic converters, which are used in car exhaust systems of modern cars to reduce pollutants, after Duesmann & Hensel Recycling ’s plant achieved Final Acceptance Test (FAT) status. The material found in converters includes valuable Platinum Group Metals (PGMs), which are essential for various manufacturing processes.

Tetronics’ process concentrates the PGMs for resale by a factor of x25 and makes them accessible via wet chemistry so that they can re-enter the supply chain and be used in the manufacture of new products. In the same process, hazardous elements contained in the less valuable material are transformed and the waste is turned into an approved, inert, reusable building product called Plasmarok®.

An initial agreement to develop a plasma smelting furnace for Duesmann & Hensel Recycling in Karlstein near Frankfurt was reached in 2013. Today’s announcement means the plant is fully commissioned and can process the catalytic converters from up to 1.85 million cars per year. Germany itself produces typically 500,000 end of life vehicles annually; each with a catalytic converters.

This will further build on the country’s strong record in recovering value from waste, with more than 95% of the metal found in vehicles already recycled.

Tetronics’ technology offers market leading recovery rates for precious metals, whilst having the smallest impact on the environment and cost base of a recovery solution.

The completed project represents further export success for Tetronics which has been firmly established in international markets for decades. Its plasma arc systems are globally recognised as the most sustainable, future-proof solution for resource recovery and hazardous waste treatment.

Currently, Tetronics’ PGM installed commercial recycling capacity is circa 13.7k metric tonnes of converter core material per annum, equalling 13.7 million catalytic converters per annum. This is set to rise to 17.5k metric tonnes of converter core material per annum in 2015, circa 1.2 million troy oz PGM per year.

Graeme Rumbol, CEO of Tetronics International, said: We are delighted that this plant is now fully operational and Tetronics’ plasma arc technology will be delivering environmental and cost benefits to support Duesmann & Hensel Recycling’s processes.

“This project further demonstrates that Tetronics is regarded across the world as the market leader in the recovery of precious metals and we’re looking forward to continuing our strong growth path over the coming months.

“Our technology can be used to process a range of waste streams to recover value and deliver long-term, sustainable solutions to problem wastes.”

Clemens Hensel, Managing Partner of Duesmann & Hensel Recycling, said:

“With the integration of the plasma smelting furnace in our value chain, we are significantly differentiating ourselves from classic processors in our industry.”

“This is an investment into the future and will allow us to react flexibly to market changes as well as to customer requirements. Along with our comprehensive technical know-how, the investment gives us greater flexibility of services we offer to our customers.”

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