Chemnitz, Germany -- In Germany alone, about 80 percent (roughly 3 million) of obsolete refrigerators and freezers still contain CFCs (cloroflourocarbons), according to German plant manufacturer AU+T (Anlagenbau Umwelt + Technik Chemnitz GmbH).
The company has added another degasification step to its technological solution for the recycling of cooling units. This post-degasification step is designed to ensure that any remaining CFCs that could not be extracted from the polyurethane foam insulation during the first degasification step are "removed and recovered in an environmentally friendly way," the company says.
After the fridge material is shredded and separated by type, the recovered and pulverised the PU foam is fed into a so called "drying tower" where it degasses entirely.
"Generally, there are three degasification stages as part of the recycling process of cooling units," explains Mirko Winter, managing director of AU+T. These tend to take place firstly, before the cooling appliances are fed into the shredding machine, secondly, during the shredding and grinding process and, finally, just before the material is separated on basis of material type with the help of sifters and metal separators.
AU+T's new solution adds a final degasification step, specifically for degassing PUany powder potentially containing CFC, which had been added to the process subsequent to the separation line. "Since the principle of material separation is very similar among different treatment plants suitable for the recycling of cooling units, the drying tower can be conveniently fitted to any existing plants," said Winter.