UHT, Uvån Hagfors Teknologi AB, was in February 2011 awarded an order for granulation technology at Boliden, as part of the expansion of Boliden’s Rönnskär facility to increase recycling of electronic waste. The principal components of the expansion are a Kaldo furnace with a steam boiler and gas purification equipment, together with materials processing facilities, of which the UHT GRANSHOT® process is a part. The use of the Kaldo technique, a Swedish process that has been developed at Rönnskär, stretches back 30 years.
Recycling of electronic waste is the fastest growing segment in the recycling industry, due to the increasing use of electronic products throughout the world, in combination with shorter product lifecycles and stricter legislation. The EU WEEE directive (Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment) states that a minimum of 4 kg per inhabitant is to be collected and sorted each year. This requirement may rise to approximately 13-16 kg in 2016.
Current investment will increase the annual capacity of the Rönnskär facility to recycle electronic waste from 45,000 tonne to 120,000 tonne for the production of gold, silver and copper. The need for granulation of metal at Rönnskär became clear during this process. UHT is world-leader in the granulation of metals by the GRANSHOT® process, and will therefore deliver a plant with a capacity of 120 tonne/hour, to be taken into use by the beginning of 2012.
GRANSHOT ® was selected for its ability to offer highly efficient handling at a high capacity, while satisfying currently valid environmental requirements. UHT has built more than 40 granulation plants, dealing with most metallic materials such as iron, steel, stainless steel, ferroalloys and copper. The plants have been installed all over the world, often in the form of full-service contracts with process guarantees.
The granulation of liquid metal takes place through a liquid metal stream striking a refractory spray head, on which the metal splits into droplets distributed across the granulation tank water surface. The metal granules formed are then rapidly cooled as they sink in the water, and can then be transported onwards for dewatering. The rapidity of the process, typically 30 seconds, ensures that the properties and composition of the metal are not changed, and minimal amounts of oxide and slag are formed. Furthermore, the granulate has a physical form ideally suited to making further handling and remelting in subsequent metallurgic process easy.
UHT, Per Vesterberg, Sales manager
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