Co-processing is a secure form of waste management that fully recovers the energy and mineral components from waste for use as fuel, and for product additives used in manufacturing processes. It conserves fossil fuels and natural mineral resources, while safely destroying materials that would otherwise go to landfills or incinerators.Co-processing waste is a complex, precise procedure that requires advanced engineering expertise. As an industry leader in waste management, Geocycle has the experience and technical capabilities necessary to handle even the most complicated waste projects, whether hazardous or non-hazardous.
How co-processing works
Once your waste reaches our facilities, technicians conduct further analysis in our laboratories and pre-treat the waste if required. Solid wastes are shredded to uniform size to yield maximum energy creation. Solids are sometimes blended with liquid waste, creating a relatively dry material that stabilizes the liquids and allows them to be utilized more easily.
The waste is then safely and securely co-processed, often by using it as a fuel source in cement kilns and others manufacturers or energy generation facilities. Operating at temperatures in excess of 2500 degrees Fahrenheit (1370 degrees Celsius), the kilns provide complete thermal destruction, recovering the energy and mineral components within the waste. An added benefit is that no additional waste is produced during the process.
Why co-processing is safe
Co-processing is a safe and effective method of waste disposal for three unique reasons:
- The very high operating temperatures of the kiln break the long-chain hydrocarbons in the waste, reducing it back to its basic elements.
- The wastes experience long residence times inside the kiln, allowing adequate time to break down even the most complex chemical compounds.
- When co-processing in cement kilns, fine limestone dust captures heavy metals; those materials are kept out of the atmosphere and safely, fully incorporated into the product.
Why co-processing is better than landfills or incineration
- Landfills pose potential soil and groundwater contamination issues if they are not properly constructed and maintained, and they occupy valuable real estate that could be used for other purposes.
- Incinerators do dispose of solid wastes, but they do nothing to capture heavy metals such as mercury, lead and others than can be of risk to the human population, even in small concentrations. They also generate fly ash and bottom ash which must be disposed of, typically in a toxic waste landfill, which creates the potential for soil or water contamination.
- Co-processing achieves complete thermal destruction of waste, and when applied to the cement industry, can capture mineral components, which are then safely incorporated into the final product. It also reduces the need for on-site waste storage, reducing your liability and enhancing your regulatory compliance efforts.
A source for alternative fuels
In addition to helping you manage every aspect of your waste management stream, we can also provide alternative fuels for cement kilns, power plants, steel mills, paper mills and other industrial operations. To learn more about how we can help you reduce your use of fossil fuels during manufacturing, please contact us for more information.