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World-first plant supplied

A stock image of electronic waste
ONE MAN'S TRASH Precious metals such as platinum can now be extracted from waste materials at a luxury car manufacturer in Russia

Metallurgical industry plant supplier SMS group last month announced that it had supplied a world-first greenfield e-scrap recycling plant for precious metals to plastics recycling giant Ecopolis Corporation.

Following a multi-month commissioning phase, SMS group handed over a greenfield recycling plant for waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) to luxury automobile company Aurus in Mtsensk, Russia. Aurus is a company of the Ecopolis Corporation.

The new plant will recycle electrical and electronic scrap for the recovery of high-purity copper, nickel, gold, silver and platinum.

SMS supplied all core components for the new recycling facility and concluded long-term service agreements to optimise plant availability.

The supply scope included the top blown rotary converter, an anode refining furnace, the casting wheel, the refining electrolyser, the precious metals plant and a dedusting system.

As it uses a combination of pyro- and hydrometallurgical processes, the facility is the first of its kind in the world, SMS states.

It recovers high-purity metals at very high rates and is designed for a yearly recycling capacity of 6 000 t of WEEE and 10 000 t of copper scrap.

The facility represents an important milestone both in terms of recycling technology and for the global recycling industry, says SMS, which received the order for the development of this plant in 2017.

The company adds that more than 45-million tons of electronic scrap have accumulated worldwide. Consequently, the recycling market for electronics is continuously growing.

As part of a global innovation initiative, SMS has expanded its group activities to provide holistic solutions for the recycling of non-ferrous metals.

Under its “BlueMetals” banner, SMS designs and manufactures recycling facilities for the processing of between 1 000 t/y and 120 000 t/y of WEEE of different qualities, making an important contribution to a sustainable circular economy.

“With SMS, we have found a reliable partner for our company. We have implemented and started up the facility successfully, despite the constraints in connection with the coronavirus pandemic,” Aurus CEO Maxim Lobanov commented.

SMS group describes itself as “renowned” worldwide for its future-oriented technologies and outstanding service for the metals industry. The company noted that it applies its 150 years of experience and its digital know-how to continuously provide the industry with innovative products and processes – even beyond its core business – and generates worldwide sales of more than €2.7-billion euros. It stated that it is the “right partner” for challenging projects, and supports its customers throughout the life cycle of their plants, enabling profitable and resource-efficient value creation chains. Paving the way for a carbon-neutral and sustainable metals industry is the company’s stated goal. As a global player with German roots, SMS takes responsibility for its estimated 14 000 employees and for society at large.