Boosting bio-RDF in Scandinavia

June 2, 2022
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A new and proprietary production line in Aalborg enables Geminor to separate plastic from residual waste in a more efficient way. Thus, both the recycling rate of plastics and the production of bio-RDF with low fossil content can be significantly increased.

After several months of preparation, Geminor has developed a new production line in Aalborg, Denmark, which can offer more and more purified fractions for both material and energy recovery.

At the center of the production line is a new and proprietary wind sifter, a machine that separates heavier materials and impurities such as stone, metal and wood - but also extracts more plastic content from the waste.

Thanks to an experienced team in Aalborg, the windscreen is now installed and in full operation, says Johan Olø, General Manager of Geminor Waste Treatment.

Johan Olø in GWT. Photo: Johny Kristensen

- We have built a separate wind screen both to optimize the end products, but also to get a more compact and functional line. The wind screen separates out impurities, but also allows us to remove up to 70 percent of the plastic in the residual waste we process. This gives us more pure waste products in terms of both material and energy recovery," says Olø.

Today, Geminor has a long-term contract with cement producer Aalborg Portland, which is supplied with a high CV SRF fuel from the Aalborg plant. The tailor-made fuel is a substitute for petcoke and coal, and as such significantly reduces emissions.

Developing bio-RDF

Geminor has for several months been running a test project on the development of a "heavy" RDF with a high biogenic content, mainly in the company's HUB in Landskrona, Sweden. The experience gained from this work is used further in Aalborg, not least with a view to better sorting of plastics, says Johan Olø.

- Our goal is to extract and supply pure plastic fractions for chemical or mechanical recycling, for example to Quantafuel's pyrolysis plant in Skive. What we are left with after the plastic is removed is a chopped bio-RDF with low fossil content," says Olø.

- "Sorting and developing low-carbon RDF is of course associated with a cost, but the fuel will be profitable in terms of taxes and quotas," says Johan Olø of GWT.

More efficient recycling

Every year, 40-50,000 tons of waste pass through Geminor's HUB in Aalborg, and the plant is currently producing at full capacity, says Country Manager in Denmark, Kasper Thomsen.

Kasper Thomsen, Geminor CM in Denmark.

- Our aim is to be able to extract resources higher and higher up the waste hierarchy. Now that we can separate plastics more efficiently, we can also recycle them in the most sensible way available. Chemical and mechanical recycling makes a lot of sense, and at the same time we see that the use of bio-RDF will grow significantly in the EU towards 2030," says Thomsen.

- Being able to think regionally is becoming increasingly important, especially from a sustainability perspective. We have many recipients for our various waste products in the region around Aalborg, and over the years more will be added. We now see that we are approaching an optimal HUB both in terms of reception, sorting, treatment and distribution of different fractions, says Kasper Thomsen, CM in Geminor DK.