All shredding processes take place in a nitrogen atmosphere

June 9, 2022
What to do if there is the danger of hazardous waste and ingredients escaping during recycling? With the first inertizable recycling plants from BHS-Sonthofen, safe processing is now possible – to the benefit of people and the environment: The universal shredder of type NGU and the rotary shear of type VR enable the safe shredding of hazardous materials in a protective atmosphere.

Waste co

Waste contains not only valuable resources for recycling, but often also hazardous chemicals such as toxic hydrofluoric acid and sulfuric acid, the vapors of which are associated with serious health consequences. Processing these recyclables is therefore not without risk: There is a danger of fires, explosions and irreversible damage to people and nature. One way to counter this risk is inerting technology, which allows for recycling in a protective atmosphere. For the first time, BHS-Sonthofen has built two shredders that fully operate in a nitrogen atmosphere. These were originally designed for the recycling of lithium-ion batteries. In principle, however, there is a wide range of applications for toxic and hazardous materials, from shredding-mixing-pumping (SMP) to processing hazardous chemical waste.

Nitrogen ensures hazard-free processes

Both of the BHS recycling machines used, the rotary shear (type VR) for primary shredding and the universal shredder (type NGU) for the main material crushing step, feature a gas-tight design and are flooded with nitrogen. This helps to minimize the risk of explosions and fires. High-quality special plastics were used to seal the machines. This material is both acid resistant and able to support the heavy machines. Sensors monitor the nitrogen atmosphere throughout the shredding process. In the event of a leak, both machines can be completely flooded with water within a few seconds as a final protective measure. Despite all their special features, the inertizable shredders offer the same performance and functionality as the proven standard machines.

Safe and robust

BHS-Sonthofen’s inertizable shredders weigh between 12 and 18 tons, and their new function and size make them unique in the field of industrial recycling. “Sealing the shredders was not the only challenge,” says Manuel Huber, the designer responsible for the NGU 0513, explaining the change in requirements for the machines, “but we also needed to continue to ensure the flexibility and robustness of the machines during operation and maintenance.”