The central component of SMS group’s WEEE recycling concepts is either the BlueSmelter and/or the Top Blown Rotary Converter (TBRC). Compared, the BlueSmelter can also handle lower grade WEEE with higher organic contents. The concept of the BlueSmelter had been successfully demonstrated at an industrial size demonstration plant and resulted in a new generation bath smelting furnace, applying a high speed SIS- /injector. In these industrial scale trials, various WEEE qualities had been treated. The test confirmed high metal recovery rates and low emission levels (in particular NOx). Furthermore, the SIS was also tested in a range of 0-100% with H2 as fuel successfully. The flame characteristics (such as length, temperature) were quite similar, when using natural gas or H2 as a substitution.
The current design offers an annual capacity of 1,000 -100,000 tons of e-scrap concentrate. It can be installed as a complete greenfield plant, or as a supplement to existing copper or nickel smelters using the existing infrastructure of the plant.
When high-grade WEEE material is available, the TBRC can be operated as the primary smelter and refiner producing raw copper. SMS group is currently installing a WEEE recycling plant with one TBRC as a primary smelter near Moscow, Russia.
This plant is designed to process about 4,000 tons of printed circuit boards every year to LME/LBMA grade metals, such as copper, nickel, silver, gold, and platinum. For future expansion, it the installation of a BlueSmelter is considered to allow the processing of low grade WEEE and to increase the overall plant capacity.