Dutch Purified Metal Company (PMC) starts the construction of the plant in Delfzijl, The Netherlands.

In July this year, Purified Metal Company has completed the financingfor the construction of a large-scalestate-of-the-art processing plant thatis to recycle contaminated steel scrap(for example asbestos and other toxicmaterials). According to Berlin-basedEIT RawMaterials (initiated and fundedby the European Institute of Innovationand Technology), which hassupported the established SME as astart-up, PMC is the “first company inthe world with an environmentallyfriendly and economically feasiblemethod to recycle contaminated steelscrap into high-quality raw materialsfor the steel industry”.

After realizing the first factory in theNetherlands, Purified Metal Companyaims to roll out the innovative andpatented process for the recycling ofcontaminated steel scrap in the restof Europe and the world. The companyexpects that the factory will beoperational by July 2020 at the latest.

Circular solution
The solution for recycling contaminatedsteel was developed together withUK-based waste-to-product companyRenewi plc, which will exclusively collectand transport contaminated steeldirectly to PMC’s new recycling facilityin the Netherlands. “As asbestos wasfrequently used in the construction ofbuildings, plants, ships and housingbetween 1960 and 1993, the lifespanof many of these structures will soonbe coming to an end, resulting in arelatively large amount of asbestoscontaminatedsteel scrap,” Renewi informedin May this year. “As asbestosis harmful for health, its remediationis usually an extremely labor-intensiveand expensive process with anyhazardous materials needing to bedisposed of in a safe and controlledway.”

As reported, PMC’s facility will combine“innovative processes with existingtechniques originating from otherindustries”. During the process, thefibrous parts of the asbestos wouldbe destroyed, ensuring that it is nolonger hazardous. “In addition, otherhazardous substances contaminating the steel, such as chromium-6 andmercury, are captured or neutralized”.

“The process prepares steel for reusein the form of Purified Metal Blocks(PMBs) which are raw materials typicallyused in the manufacturing industrythat can be made to certainspecifications, dependent on therequirements of the end user,” PMCassured. “The production of PMBs issafer, more affordable and more efficientthan current remediation techniques.”

The collaboration between Renewiand Purified Metal Company “willhave benefits for both customers andthe environment through the recoveryof valuable raw materials fromcomplex waste streams and the reductionof carbon emissions,” the twocompanies emphasized.

© GLOBAL RECYCLING magazine 03/2018