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Future developments

Next level IBA processing

The demand for incineration originated from the need to reduce landfill capacity. Incineration effectively reduced the volume of waste by a factor of 10 and allowing the opportunity to recover energy at the same time. By processing the IBA, valuable metals like aluminum, copper and gold can be recovered. A significant portion of the ash is in fact mineral (85%) and can be used for a variety of applications worldwide.

In certain countries, the ability to use such mineral is constrained by geological conditions and therefore the desire to make this material “freely applicable” becomes a social requirement. This can be demonstrated in the Netherlands where the ‘green deal’ forms part of an agreement between the government and industry. To achieve this, the bottom ash needs to be cleaned by washing to remove pollutants like chlorine, sulphate, bromide, molybdenum, copper and antimony.

Blue Phoenix Group has  built the biggest ash washing plant in the world. This plant can clean 600.000 tons of bottom-ash each year. Washing has the additional advantage of a much deeper metal extraction of up to 90%. This results in more than 60.000 tons of metals (ferrous, aluminum, copper, gold, etc.) being produced. 

The ash is cleaned by a combination of scrubbing, removing the fines and rinsing. The rinse water is cleaned and no water discharge is required. The pollutants are removed within the sludge fraction, so the remaining minerals are compliant with the ‘NVG level’ set by the Dutch Soil Decree. 

The removed pollutants are concentrated into the sludge fraction and are currently sent to landfill. New R&D projects are underway to further reduce this flow enabling a fully circular resource. Even at current levels, the reduction of mass-fraction household waste will change from 20% to a mere 3% and with the installed washing technology 97% of the municipal waste can be used beneficially. 

Our facility based in the Netherlands will provide 450.000 tons of freely applicable minerals, replacing primary resources in the construction of roads and concrete elements.