Waste Management Solutions for Metal Refining

Metal refining is increasingly seen as an essential part of natural resource conservation As sources of primary metals become scarcer or harder to excavate, the only viable solution is to extract and recycle secondary source of material already in circulation in a number of mass produced consumer products across the globe. The challenge is finding a technology that can efficiently recover these valuable metals from their less valuable materials. Tetronics can assist with a range of metal refining challenges, including:

Electrical Wastes

Precious metals, such as gold and silver, constitute a small but valuable part of electronic waste. Significant amounts of these precious metals are lost in the initial stage of the electronics recycling process. As time progresses, WEEE will be increasingly seen as a valuable source of precious metals, and town mining will become a more attractive option for material supply. Tetronics provides customised precious metal recovery plants designed to preferentially separate the valuable metals from the less valuable and potentially hazardous material from your electronic waste. These plants can be environmentally licensed for WEEE recovery in a tiered and controlled manner required by the WEEE Directive and RoHS Directive.

Catalyst Wastes

Catalyst wastes, including both autocats and industrial catalysts, e.g. petrochemical catalyst, contain precious metals and specifically the Platinum Group Metals (PGMs) that are valuable due to their low natural abundance, unique properties and the complex processes that are required for their extraction and refining from primary sources. Recovery of precious metal from spent catalysts using Tetronics’ patented technology offers higher performance and commercial advantage over alternative recovery solutions.

Steel Plant Wastes

During the manufacturing of steel, a significant amount of hazardous baghouse dust can be produced that contains zinc and other metals and minerals generated from their steel smelting process. This dust is typically extracted by the air pollution control system on an Electric Arc Furnace (EAF). The traditional means of disposing of EAF dust is at a hazardous waste landfill site where although the tonnage cost varies from country to country, a common factor is that landfill costs continue to rise. Steel plant waste is difficult to recycle back through the primary steel plant facility due to environmental compliance issues and/or their physical form as particulates/dusts. Tetronics’ plasma‐enhanced metal recovery plants can process this dry dust, in a single stage without pre-treatment, in order to extract the Zinc and other metals and minerals from the dust.