Sweed unveils new PCR1856 shredder - Recycling Today

2022-07-23 04:12:40 By : Ms. Fang Fang Meng

The new model is the largest in the Sweed PCR series and features fewer, yet more effective knives, the company says.

Gold Hill, Oregon-based Sweed has introduced a new single-shaft shredder, the model PCR1856, to its line of recycling equipment.  

The new shredder is the largest in the Sweed PCR series—not to be confused with the MS series—and features a 125-horsepower motor, 18-inch rotor diameter, 56-inch rotor length and a 50-inch-by-57-inch cutting chamber. It can function as either a primary or secondary processor in high-volume applications.

The PCR1856 features a more extensive knife profile, which delivers a bigger bite into the scrap and enables larger material to be pulled into the machine quicker and more efficiently, according to the manufacturer. The larger knives make this unit suitable for processing a wide range of bulky scrap, especially wire and cable. The PCR1856 also features fewer knives than its predecessor—54 versus 76—but double the cutting capacity. Fewer knives allow for quicker knife changes and lower maintenance costs, the company says. 

Additionally, the Sweed PCR1856 includes a hydraulic ram to keep material engaged with the rotor to optimize throughput. The unit can stand alone or be married into any existing chopping line. Its speed and ram parameters can be adjusted to optimize a system when tied into a downstream processor. 

The company’s Alma smelter in Quebec will increase low-carbon aluminum billet production by 202,000 metric tons.

Rio Tinto, a metals and mining company headquartered in London, says it is investing $188 million (CA$240 million) to increase production capacity for low-carbon emissions, aluminum billets at its Alma smelter in Lac-Saint-Jean, Quebec, by 202,000 metric tons. The investment does not include additional smelting capacity but instead focuses on transforming more of the metal already produced at the plant’s pot rooms into value-added products, the company adds. 

The aluminum billets will be made from primary aluminum and contain no recycled content, says Malika Cherry, a Rio Tinto media relations advisor. She adds, “Rio Tinto’s aluminum in Québec is 100 percent produced with hydropower,” making it one of the world’s lowest-carbon aluminum products.

The existing casting center at Rio Tinto's Alma plant will be expanded to add new equipment, including a casting pit and furnaces, the company says. Construction will begin in May 2023, after completing detailed engineering and preliminary work, and commissioning is expected in the first quarter of 2025.

Global demand for aluminum extrusion products is expected to grow at an average rate of roughly 3 percent per year over the next 10 years, driven by the energy transition and decarbonization, the company says, citing data from London-based Cru.

The investment will strengthen the supply chain in North America and allow Rio Tinto to be more agile and flexible to respond to growing demand from North American manufacturers for a variety of high-value-added products, primarily in the automotive and construction industries. The aluminum billets can be used to make various products, including bumpers and roof rails for cars as well as doors and window frames.

The investment is expected to generate nearly $160 million (CA$200 million) in economic benefits for Quebec and to create nearly 40 new permanent jobs and help to support the 770 existing jobs at the Alma plant, Rio Tinto says.

Sébastien Ross, managing director of Rio Tinto Aluminum's Atlantic operations, says, “This expansion of our low-carbon aluminum billet production capacity in Quebec will allow us to better meet our customer’s growing demand for high-quality alloys and value-added products made with renewable hydroelectricity. This new capacity will help to strengthen the position of our Alma smelter, and we are proud to work with our employees, clients, Quebec equipment manufacturers and partners to bring this much-anticipated project to fruition.”

Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry François-Philippe Champagne says, “Along with significant economic benefits, Rio Tinto's investment will see more jobs and more growth in our country while cementing Canada’s position as a global leader in the low carbon economy.”

Quebec Minister of Economy and Innovation and Regional Economic Development Pierre Fitzgibbon adds, “In Quebec, we produce the greenest aluminum in the world. Modernization projects such as this one will enable us to maintain our leadership position in this area and contribute to the growth of this strategic sector. We have always said that the environment can and must serve the economy. The Rio Tinto project is a perfect example."

Company’s announced battery materials plant in Ontario initially will focus on cathode and mined materials.

Belgium-based Umicore has announced its plan to construct a manufacturing facility in Ontario to produce cathode active battery materials (CAM) and their precursor materials (pCAM) for the North American electric vehicle (EV) market.

Umicore says its investment “represents the final step in establishing a truly global production presence with battery material value chains that are regionally fully integrated to support its customers in their fast transformation towards sustainable electric mobility.”

The company, which has a sizable recycled materials smelting and metals production business unit, says the Ontario project also will entail exploring opportunities “for metals refining and battery recycling in North America to offer its customers in the region secure and circular access to critical battery materials and—in line with its earlier announced ambition to establish a regional presence in North America—across the CAM value chain.”

“Indeed, we will also explore refining and battery recycling opportunities to establish our closed-loop business model in the region and to operate as locally as possible to achieve a truly sustainable battery supply chain,” Umicore media relations officer Caroline Jacobs tells Recycling Today. “This closed loop business model increases supply security and would help avoid having to ship materials from other parts of the world.”

The planned facility would be the first of its kind in North America, Umicore says, by “combining cathode and precursor materials manufacturing at a large industrial scale and thereby completing the missing link in Canada’s battery value chain, from natural resources to electric mobility.”

The company says it is negotiating with several potential customers for production contracts in North America.

In terms of political support, Umicore and the government of Canada have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to finalize a support application of the project under Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund, the Belgian company says.

That MoU follows a recently signed agreement with Loyalist Township, Ontario, for Umicore to secure a 350-acre plot of land there. The location, “in the center of Canada’s automotive ecosystem,” according to Umicore, “offers critical advantages such as access to a highly skilled workforce, key infrastructure and renewable energy, which the new plant will be running on 100 percent from start of production.”

Umicore wants to start construction in 2023 and begin operations by the end of 2025. It foresees the potential to reach an annual production capacity able of powering approximately 1 million EVs by the end of the decade.

“Canada and the province of Ontario have all it takes for Umicore to establish a full-fledged, sustainable supply chain for battery materials, all the way from the mine right to the end-market of electric vehicles,” says Mathias Miedreich, CEO of Umicore. “Once the key customer contracts are in place, this expansion in North America would complete our global rollout of regional supply chains for our automotive and battery cell customers to, now, three continents.”

Justin Trudeau, prime minister of Canada, comments, “Today’s announcement is about creating jobs, cutting pollution, and building a stronger, cleaner economy for Canadians.”

Ontario Premier Doug Ford remarks, “Ontario has everything it needs, up and down our homegrown supply chain, to remain and strengthen its position as a North American auto manufacturing powerhouse. Umicore plans to bring this part of the EV supply chain to Ontario, which will continue to transform our auto sector and create good jobs.”

Global company with lead-acid battery roots is investing to take on the lithium-ion battery recycling challenge.

Texas-based Ecobat has roots that trace back more than 100 years to battery production and recycling sites in Europe, North America and other parts of the world. Its assets in the United States include lead-acid battery plants operated by the former RSR Corp.—one of Ecobat’s many predecessor firms.

Although much of the company’s history involved lead-acid battery production and recycling, as early as 2005, Ecobat began collecting and recycling other types of batteries, including lithium-ion units.

Thea Soule, chief commercial officer of the global company, tells Recycling Today Ecobat has been making significant investments to diversify the company. Soule, who holds an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, also has experience navigating global commodity markets in a previous role at a large agribusiness.

In the following interview, Soule makes it clear Ecobat does not intend to leave lithium-ion battery recycling solely to venture capitalists. Instead, the company is investing to secure a lasting role for Ecobat as it applies its institutional metals recycling and reverse logistics knowledge to the emerging electric vehicle (EV) battery materials recycling sector.

Thea Soule (TS): Ecobat is the most integrated battery recycling service provider in Europe today. We currently perform in-house collection of critical and end-of-life batteries, which includes transportation, diagnostic/discharge and shredding. We dismantle, reengineer and shred collected materials, turning them into black mass that can be reused in the market. Ecobat’s process is designed to accept all formats of lithium-ion batteries. With global efforts to meet Paris Agreement commitments, EV batteries are likely to soon represent the largest category of used batteries. Ecobat enables circularity of the complete lithium-Ion supply chain by recovering valuable materials from any type of lithium pack.  

TS: Ecobat has been operating in the lead battery recycling industry for nearly 90 years, and today, we fully recycle over 120 million used batteries each year. There are logistical challenges for operations at this scale, and much of it can only be solved with experience.

Ecobat continues to be the world’s leading lead-acid battery recycler, and we are applying our knowledge and systems to batteries of other chemistries, such as lithium-ion batteries, that power everyday lives more efficiently. Our unique knowledge and experience around metal extraction and transporting hazardous waste positions us to be leaders in the fast-growing lithium-ion battery recycling space.

TS: Ecobat has facilities all over the world, having operated for nearly a century in the battery recycling space. Ecobat’s fastest growing business segment is lithium-ion battery recycling. We have lithium-ion battery recycling facilities in the United Kingdom and Germany, as well as a state-of-the-art research and development facility in Dallas. More lead and lithium-ion battery recycling facilities are forthcoming to help us address growing demand. We began lithium-ion battery recycling in Europe as it was the logical geographic choice to focus, based on the local maturation of the EV market.

TS: The lithium-ion recycling industry is in its infancy, and new, innovative technologies emerge on a regular basis. As these technologies are commercialized and scaled, Ecobat’s focus is on maximizing the recovery of materials from used batteries.

As part of Ecobat’s technology portfolio, we can measure the health of end-of-life batteries, keeping batteries in operation longer for second-life applications.

When a battery can no longer be used practically and safely, Ecobat’s proprietary process separates the valuable materials into a high-purity output stream that is processed using any number of innovative refining techniques. The rest of the battery’s recovered materials (aluminum, copper, steel) are separated and sorted into their own streams and are recycled by traditional metal smelting.

With these processes, Ecobat can choose the most efficient process to achieve maximum recovery rates for all lithium-ion batteries.

TS: Through our leadership in the International Battery Council, along with our partners at the U.S. Department of Energy, Ecobat is at the forefront of battery life research and development efforts. We are also part of the Consortium for Battery Innovation and work alongside the industry’s best and brightest. We operate alongside our partners with 2030-to-2040 EV and utility infrastructure-related benchmarks in mind, set out by EV-focused regions throughout the U.S. and Canada, in addition to 2050 EV-related goals for new and existing vehicles and grid-related infrastructure.

We are introducing best practices to our partners worldwide to provide safe and efficient transportation of batteries, even without uniform regulations across the U.S. We strongly believe that sustainable and responsible battery recycling is critical to create a circular energy economy.

The goal of the partnership is to provide accessible and more sustainable electric mobility for American drivers.

Volkswagen Group of America Inc., Herndon, Virginia, and Redwood Materials Inc., a sustainable materials manufacturer based in Carson City, Nevada, have partnered to create a supply chain to recycle Volkswagen and Audi electric vehicle (EV) batteries in the United States.   

The goal is to provide accessible and more sustainable electric mobility for American drivers. The two say by advancing Volkswagen’s strategy to localize all competencies for its electric transformation, and Redwood’s goal of creating the nation’s only closed-loop supply chain for lithium-ion batteries, the collaboration represents a crucial step in growing North America’s domestic EV industry.  

“For Volkswagen, going all-in on electrification means driving sustainable solutions at every turn,” says Scott Keogh, President and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America Inc. “Redwood Materials is a great partner to help us accelerate EV adoption in America. This collaboration allows us to move closer toward our goal of closing the loop for a circular EV economy, giving American consumers yet another reason to go electric.”  

The new EV battery recycling collaboration will be facilitated by Volkswagen’s nationwide network of about 1,000 dealers, starting with the Volkswagen and Audi brands. The collaboration can support local battery capacity and expertise by allowing for more sustainable utilization of battery components from the moment vehicles leave the assembly line through the end of their lifecycle. 

As Volkswagen Group brands plan to introduce more than 25 new battery-electric vehicles to American consumers through 2030, Volkswagen aims to establish battery recycling capabilities for current and future vehicles in North America now. In addition, the new EV battery recycling collaboration will integrate prototype batteries from Volkswagen’s research facilities like the Battery Engineering Lab (BEL) in Chattanooga. Redwood Materials will work directly with dealers and Volkswagen facilities to identify end-of-life batteries and materials and safely package and transport them to its Nevada facilities.  

“The electric transformation means making commitments in many areas throughout our business,” says Daniel Weissland, president of Audi of America. “In addition to our robust lineup of fully electric Audi e-tron models available now, having like-minded partners like Redwood Materials in place to further reduce environmental impact throughout the lifecycle of every electric vehicle is critical.”  

Redwood says it recycles more than 6 GWh of lithium-ion batteries, the equivalent of 60,000 EV batteries, in Nevada annually. The batteries that come to Redwood are composed of end-of-life consumer devices, battery production scrap and electric vehicle batteries.  

The company extracts raw materials like cobalt, copper, nickel and lithium, refines and remanufactures them into critical battery components, anode copper foil and cathode, before delivering those products back to domestic battery cell manufacturers.   

“The transition to electric transportation and clean energy is coming and the batteries powering these technologies present an incredible opportunity,” says JB Straubel, Redwood Materials Founder and CEO. “As more and more batteries reach end-of-life each year, an increasing and infinitely recyclable resource become available.”  

The two say the partnership reflects a shared vision for a circular EV economy that, if adopted in the industry, could reduce battery costs and the need to mine and ship raw materials.  

Volkswagen Group of America says it is aiming for 55 percent of its U.S. sales to be fully electric by 2030. To meet this goal, the company is transforming the North American region into an industrial EV center. This will feature localized EV engineering and research and development, EV assembly and component production and dedicated battery cell production.