Tetronics (International) Limited

Mitsubishi and Tetronics to tackle hazardous waste from aluminium industry


Source: Tetronics (International) Limited

A new collaboration partnership will see Mitsubishi Corporation and Tetronics working together to treat the problematic Spent PotLiner (SPL) hazardous waste that is routinely generated during the manufacturing of aluminium.

Tetronics Ltd., a leader in the supply of Direct Current (DC) plasma waste recovery plants for the treatment of hazardous waste and metal recovery, announced the signing of a collaboration agreement with Mitsubishi Corporation to offer a solution for treating one of the world's most challenging hazardous wastes called Spent Potliner (SPL), which is generated as a waste by-product during the production of aluminium.

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 process chemistry in Tetronics' plasma arc waste treatment technology is tolerant in 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.

Stephen Davies, CEO for Tetronics explained; 'We are delighted to have reached this agreement with Mitsubishi, who are ideally placed to understand the pressures faced by the aluminium industry to ensure the safe disposal of the SPL waste they generate.  This unpleasant and toxic waste needs to be handled with extreme care and experience. Tetronics' plasma arc technology provides a 'future proof' and proximal solution for resolving this growing issue.'

Speaking about the partnership Kouhei Tsutsumi, Petroleum Coke Unit for Mitsubishi Corporation said, 'We see the treatment of Spent Potliner as a natural progression to the current services we offer to the aluminium industry and given the experience of Tetronics and the success of their plasma technology in treating hazardous wastes such as SPL, we see Tetronics as a natural technology partner.'

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