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Jet-Zone makes dust-free shredding a reality

Leading recyclers are turning to dust suppression systems to achieve a cleaner process. Mirko Savic (ceo) and Nicolas Malfait, (sales and service) of Jet-Zone, know all about this type of equipment. The trained engineers developed a patented approach that has been installed at various recycling plants across Europe and further afield.

Recycling International meets up with the two businessmen at Galloo’s site in Menen, Belgium, to talk about the impact of this innovation. ‘Jet-Zone is doing really well and we have a steady stream of orders coming in,’ says Malfait.

‘Galloo, for instance, already owns six of our dust suppression systems and we are currently preparing the seventh unit.’ Then, all Galloo shredders will be equipped with the company’s technology. ‘Needless to say, it’s very exciting to see such strong interest in our technology,’ Malfait adds.

Jet-Zone is working with a number of big recycling groups which have two or three dust suppression units supporting their day-to-day operations. ‘Having leading recycling companies come back to us is a sign we’re doing something right,’ the ceo asserts. ‘Seven times is certainly a milestone. Jet-Zone has come a long way since it was founded in 2011.’

Keeping it dry

This doesn’t mean the company’s start-up was entirely smooth sailing. ‘Traditionally, the recycling industry tends to be wary of welcoming newcomers and shredding has more or less stayed the same during the last 30 years,’ Savic observes. ‘At first, people confused our solution with a water addition based method but it’s a totally different process.’

The fundamental difference is that the Jet-Zone system does not create a wet waste stream. It relies on a subtle dispersion of micro-drops – comparable to mist. This means the scrap stays largely dry and that the quality of the fractions is not compromised. ‘As such, Jet-Zone does not affect sorting performance,’ Savic underlines. ‘Once recyclers understood that, they got on board with our technology.’

How many injectors?

Operators can choose which injectors are activated for specific tasks and how much mist is released in any required direction. ‘In the summer, when the material is dry, you can program the system to release more micro-drops than during cold, damp seasons,’ the businessman points out. ‘In the winter, you’ll probably need five times fewer micro-drops than when it’s warmer.’ 

Companies can opt for either two or up to 12 injectors. Four and six are the most common in Europe, depending on the size of the shredder, because recycling lines usually feature overhead dust extraction systems. ‘Our solution is a great addition to that, catching even fine dust particles inside the shredder as well as along the complete shredder line,’ Malfait explains.

‘In the US, however, most recyclers won’t have far-reaching dust cleaning systems. So American and Canadian recyclers prefer a more elaborate Jet-Zone system with eight or more jets,’ he notes. ‘We’ve installed systems with up to 12.’ Savic adds: ‘We’ve also expanded our customer network to include recyclers worldwide.’

Risk management

 ‘Amongst the spectacular dust suppression results, users confirm us also having good explosion reductions (in number and in intensity) Of course, we can’t avoid 100% of incidents but, if an explosion does occur, it will be contained: a small one.’

A Swiss client of Jet-Zone, with a facility close to a city centre, is a good example. ‘They used to experience up to 30 explosions each year but now we’ve brought it down to seven,’ Malfait states. ‘Hitting zero is virtually impossible because it depends on external factors such as input volume, material type, equipment maintenance and so on.’ With a laugh, the businessman adds, ‘We can’t do magic but, yes, our installation can have a meaningful impact on dust emission and safety.’

Galloo has been very pleased with its partnership. ‘At Galloo, we are constantly looking for new solutions to boost our recycling practices,’ says company ceo Rick Debaere. ‘This enables us to notably reduce emissions of certain crushes way beyond current industry targets. The Jet-Zone technology practically sold itself because we received such positive feedback from the operators and site managers.’ Kevin Casier, Galloo’s technical manager, praises the how project follow-up, saying it was ‘very professional and flexible’ from start to finish.

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