Chile Scrap Metal Recycling—Wires and Cables
Coaxing attractive, high-quality non-ferrous grades from scrap wire and cable has become an important segment of the metals industry of Chile, and Chile focuses on designing the process that will yield the purest grades of copper and aluminum
Pre-work: carefully sorting and then pre-chopping wire can help processors create a high-quality product.
Wire chopping lines with high volume of output and wire choppers with small but steady capacity, which are for cutting wires and cables into small pieces and beginning the separation process of plastic coating from the metal, have gained favor in Chile, because they are sturdy enough to handle large volume of wires and cables while saving wear and tear on the granulators that eventually process the wires and cables. And wire stripping machines have long been available to scrap wires and cables processors in Chile as a way to separate metal from plastic and create marketable materials.
In spite of the advantage of scrap metal recycling, it is not free from the environment problems, so Chile, this country has been developing clean recycling technology that is flexible, efficient, less energy consuming, free from use of harmful substances, minimize waste and emissions and more eco-friendly.
1. Clean Aluminum Stripping
In addition to alloying elements, aluminum scrap often includes lacquers, paints and plastic coatings. Chile scrap metal recycling has used a fluidised bed reactor that can remove such coatings from aluminum scrap containing up to 50% organic material. The aluminum scrap is introduced to a hot fluidised bed of alumina that heats the scrap and oxidises its organic component.
2. Clean Copper Refining
Chilean copper is produced by two processes: concentrators, including mining, crushing, milling, flotation, obtaining concentrates (30-35% Cu), and hydrometallurgical plants, including mining, crushing, heap leaching, solvent extraction and electro winning, obtaining copper cathodes (99.99% Cu). A portion of concentrates are treated in smelters and electro-refineries, obtaining copper cathodes, while other portion is exported to be treated in international smelting and refining plants.
Hydrometallurgical processes using leaching, purification of leach liquor and Electrowinning have hitherto acquired importance only for the processing of large deposits of low grade oxidised copper ores. Direct electro-refining of scrap in sulphate solution using anode support system is environmentally and economically very attractive and processes based on stainless steel or titanium anode system are being developed/used industrially in Chile. Direct electrowinning has been suitable for high quality (>95% Cu) low volume scrap.
Chile Scrap Metal Recycling—E-waste
Urban mining, a growing industry focused on extracting metals from discarded computers and other electronic waste, is set to grow in Chile with benefits. Chile’s proven expertise in metal smelting is key to the country’s rise in e-waste recycling. The Latin American country produces more than a third of the world’s copper and is a significant extractor and exporter of gold and other metals.
Both copper and gold are used widely in electronics. For many Chileans, recycling e-waste holds a special fascination as they point out Chilean copper or gold may travel across the globe for processing in e-waste, only to end up again Chile as part of the consumer world’s e-waste mountains.
The electronic waste recycling industry in Chile is dominated by one company, Recycla. Companies bring electronic waste directly to the Recycla plant or hire Recycla to collect the e-waste for recycling. And there are local companies to recycle CRT glass, metals and plastic.
Chile Scrap Metal recycling—Auto Waste
The auto recycling market is untapped in South America, all or most part of cars are recycled except the metal, and the estimate is an average of 1 million plus tonnes of scrap metal in Chile alone; this kind of scrap metal recycling has the full backing of Chilean government as well as local companies looking for affordable raw materials; and this kind of recycling has high interest in global markets like Japan, India and China. All of these factors create great opportunities for Chile auto-recycling.
The car recycling plant is heavily dependent on specialized lorries which will be required to collect the scrap cars. The first step after the cars have been collected is to strip them of other materials like plastics, fabrics, leathers, used oil, lubricants and so on. The second step is to shred the metals using a specialized machine that will shred the metal to make the metal ready to be used by foundries.