Mitsubishi corporation - Spent Potliner (SPL) hazardous waste treatment case study

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Courtesy of Tetronics (International) Limited

The Challenge
Spent Potliner (SPL) is generated in the primary production of aluminium and worldwide is estimated to rise at a rate of over 500,000 tonnes per year. The SPL waste contains concentrations of cyanide and fluoride and gives off noxious and flammable gases when in contact with moisture. Unless carefully handled, these contaminants readily 'leach' into the surrounding soils and groundwater during both short term and long term storage and can cause potential contamination of drinking water reserves. Safe and permanent disposal of SPL is an issue that challenges the global primary aluminium production sector.

The Solution
in January 2011, Tetronics announced the signing of a collaborative agreement with Mitsubishi Corporation to offer a solution for treating SPL, one of the world's most challenging hazardous wastes.

The process chemistry in Tetronics' patented plasma arc waste treatment technology is robust and tolerant of a fluorinated chemical environment. It separates and destroys the hazardous components of SPL leaving a non-hazardous material. This remaining material is vitrified into an inert, safely disposable non-hazardous material in a single processing step.

Mitsubishi Corporation already has a well-established Aluminium Carbon business value chain, which it plans on expanding to include SPL treatment processing, in order to offer an enhanced service to its client base. The agreement is the first stage of a partnership that will see Tetronics providing the technology and expertise in processing SPL waste to Mitsubishi.

Key Facts
Tetronics and Mitsubishi have entered into a collaborative partnership which will see them work together to offer a solution for treating Spent Potliner (SPL), one of the worlds most challenging hazardous wastes that is routinely generated during the manufacturing of aluminium.

ABOUT MITSUBISHI CORPORATION
In the Petroleum Coke Unit, we are primarily engaged in the purchase and sale of petroleum coke, a byproduct of the crude oil refining process, and the production, purchase, and sale of calcined petroleum coke and needle coke, which are made from raw petroleum coke.

We also are working to create new demand for raw petroleum coke by promoting the introduction of technology for using petroleum coke as fuel for electric production—a technology now being used by Frontier Energy Niigata Co. Ltd. In addition, we are also involved in offshow trading of LS raw petroleum coke, which is primarily used as a raw material in the production of electrodes for aluminium refining.

About Tetronics International
Tetronics International is the global leader in the supply of Direct Current (DC) plasma arc systems for a wide range of Hazardous Waste Treatment applications. Our plasma solutions are perfectly suited to treat a range of hazardous waste streams, including: Fly Ash and Air Pollution Control residue (APCr), Organics, Spent Potliner, Asbestos, Radioactive Wastes, Oily Sludges and Chemical and Biological warfare agents and precursors.

Our capabilities encompass everything from initial modelling/feasibility assessment, pilot testing of the process material, through to design, supply onsite installation/commissioning and on-going support of full commercial plants. Tetronics' track record in advanced environmental waste treatment and material recovery processes for a range of toxic, hazardous/ industrialwastes, as well as other resource-rich streams, has resulted in more than 90 installations across a wide and varied range of applications.

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