Research and developement
Innovative, research and development investment at ALCUFER Kft.
The project was implemented with the support of the European Union and the Hungarian State, as part of the New Széchenyi Plan
Besides the proper development of the economic results, ensuring the sustainability of the company group's medium- and long-term operation is also very important in the life of ALCUFER Kft. For this reason, the shredder plant of Fehérvárcsurgó has been the scene of constant developments since its ceremonial handover in October of 2009. The technology of the shredder equipment operating on the site, basically used for retrieving metal waste, is more than 50 years old, and basically it was created to retrieve the metal content of the main input material types intended to be processed, of EOL vehicles, bigger electronic equipment and loose residential metal plate products. Depositing the 20-25% by weight non-metallic light fraction produced as a concomitant of the shredder activity in the designated monofills was an accepted and practically applied solution until the period 10 years ago.
This was the period (in years 1999, 2000 and 2002) when the European Union regulations appeared which, on the one hand, intended to disencumber the landfills from the organic materials with high calorific value which can be recovered for material and energy purposes, and on the other hand, intended to subjugate the material flows of specific complex technical products to the increasing recovery rate. These regulations, the Landfill-, the ELV- and the WEEE-regulations have appeared among the elements of the harmonized Hungarian legislation as well, long ago.
The regulation on the end-of-life vehicles requires that the structural materials from the EOL vehicles should be recovered in 95%, and this task should be solved in material aspect in 85% and energetically in 10% until 01 January 2015. Based on the fact that a vehicle manufactured in 1985-1990 recovered today usually contains roughly 70-75% metal, we can see the size of the task to be fulfilled in barely two years.
In order to meet the increasing expectations resulting from the regulations, to ensure the sustainable operation of the company group, as well as to facilitate achieving the national economy targets of Hungary by meeting the harmonized domestic regulations of the EU-Directives undertaken in the affiliation contract, ALCUFER Kft. has carried out serious innovation and R&D activities over the past three years, and carries out today as well.
The company did this because the company unwaveringly believes that the fastest, most efficient way out of the crisis is provided by the co-operative innovation and R&D activities which completely utilize the tender opportunities as well.
As the leader of a six-member consortium, ALCUFER Kft. has developed two system plans together with the partners within the RECYTECH basic research program between 2009 and 2011, on the basis of which, the further recovery of the primarily mixed plastic and rubber fractions, which were previously taken to the landfills, is made possible.
Based on this, within the project with tender ID GOP-1.1.1-08/1-2008-0061 titled "Development of a complex waste treatment system allowing the recovery researches of the organic processing residues of EOL vehicles and electronic waste for material and energy purposes", the prototypes of a freely parameterized, experimental separation equipment and of a thermo-catalytic pyrolysis technology was implemented in Fehérvárcsurgó, which allows meeting the 95% recovery obligation.
The development of the equipment and of the related infrastructure was implemented by the deadline, the ceremonial handover of the prototypes, as well as the closing event of project no. GOP-1.1.1-08/1-2008-0061 took place in Fehérvárcsurgó, on 22 November 2012.
The separation technology production line, built within the frameworks of the project and emplaced in one of the 1000 square meter halls, pre-breaks the shredding residues - which were previously taken to the landfills - after loading, and sorts them to materially recoverable metal fractions - such as, to magnetic iron fractions, to stainless steel, and to non-ferrous metal containing brass, copper and aluminium - with injection separation, eddy current and magnetic technologies lined logically one after another based on the different material properties, along with permanent dust removal. Besides this, rock- and concrete fraction used as raw material for road constructions is also generated, as well as high-purity organic material fraction containing mixed plastic and rubber waste used by other technology production lines.
The thermo-catalytic pyrolysis technology prototype allowing the energy-purpose recovery of mixed organic materials was emplaced in the other new 1000 square meter hall. The production line forwards the organic material broken to a specific size into its pyrolysis reactor through the two-stage extruder, in melted condition. In the reactor, the plastic and rubber waste in a melted condition passes through three pipe sections situated above each other, providing opposite material flow through a worm gear drive, along with the exclusion of oxygen. This is covered by a closed space from the outside, through which the technology ensures constant heat exchange towards the processed material. In the closed space, along with the exclusion of oxygen, the solid residue of the mixed polymers degraded under the influence of heat leaves the system in the form of coke after leaving the last pipe section. During the pyrolysis, gases and fumes emerge from the material in constant motion. By passing the producer gases through and burning them in a pre-heating chamber operating at 1200°C, and then by mixing external air with these gases, the producer gases can ensure the constant heat energy supply of roughly 600°C of the closed space covering the reactor tubes from the outside, which is necessary for maintaining the constant pyrolysis reaction. The producer fumes are separated from the gases through a condensation system, the fumes are separated in liquid condition, in the form of oil product.
A downstream distillation system further cleanses this oil fraction and shapes its quality so that it is capable of the aggregate actuating of a low-speed, high-performance diesel-powered internal-combustion engine, which may serve as the fuel of the green energy production block planned for the site as the continuance of the project. Based on the current qualities of the unit and the produced amounts, this green-source energy might be capable of constantly producing roughly 2 MW of electricity and feeding this into a system.
The system is expanded and made especially environmentally friendly by the heat exchange systems that recycle the heat losses accompanying the process; these heat exchange systems ensure the energy supply of each unit of the technology, making the introduction of a significant amount of external electricity redundant.
The pyrolysis process is initiated by an external LPG-gas energy source, which external input switches automatically to the self-produced producer gas-source after warming the system up to the required temperature, so the system becomes self-sustaining in constant operation.
During the developments, our company has paid special attention to the environmental protection. The site's rainwater drainage and treatment are carried out in a closed system. The rainwater collected on the concrete surfaces is forwarded through oil- and sludge-separator constructions into an isolated rainwater reservoir of 8000 square meters. An industrial water network built from the rainwater reservoir is available for the irrigation of the dust remover.
The thermo-catalytic pyrolysis technology has been established in the hall provided with technical protection, liquid-tight isolation, salvager and monitoring drain system required for hazardous waste collector sites. The point source of the technology will be provided with a constant emission system; the measurement of the emission of atmospheric pollutant materials is carried out with appropriate frequency in accordance with the requirements of the inspectorate, until this is built.
All these innovative and environmental protection developments allow the sustainable development and implement the activity and conduct of our company in accordance with Alcufer's “The responsible waste manager” slogan.