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Refrigerator recycling: Forrec’s customised plants and systems

Technological solutions for the recycling of refrigerators and the treatment of dangerous R1 WEEE.

The average lifetime of a refrigerator is fifteen years. Once out of service, the refrigerator must be properly recycled using specific technologies, in order to process both its solid components and the harmful oils and gases it can contain, i.e. CFC or HCFC gases or pentane gas.

Forrec is an Italian company which designs and produces systems and plants for the recycling of solid waste. Some of the latest plants produced by Forrec have been designed for the correct treatment of cooling appliances belonging to the WEEE R1 category.

Forrec’s systems for refrigerators recycling can treat up to 120 refrigerators in one hour with a single line. These plants are characterised by:

  • the highest input volume processed by a single line;
  • soundproofing of components;
  • control of dust from grinding;
  • semi-automatic refrigeration detection system in the first part of the line, which allows to divide the appliances into categories given by size, weight and the type of gas contained in it (CFC or Pentane gas);
  • air flow control;
  • recovery of harmful gases, like CFC and pentane gas.

Besides, all Forrec systems comply with the WEEELABEX requirements.

The 4 key steps

The treatment of refrigerators in the Forrec systems follows some precise phases:

  • Pre-treatment: the refrigerator is weighed and prepared to be introduced into the processing line. In this phase there is the manual separation of specific components.
  • Securing or recovery of refrigerant circuits: in the empty station the compressor and the refrigerant circuit of the refrigerator are prepared for the suction and then for the separation of the gases and oils contained. The compressor and the refrigerant circuit are removed in order to be recycled separately.
  • Automated plant treatment: the refrigerator is processed inside a shredding tower, the output material is homogeneous in size, with dimensions between 40 and 60 mm, while the polyurethane is pulverized. Metal parts are then separated and there is a subsequent granulation of the product.
    Aluminium, plastic, copper, iron and polyurethane materials present in small pieces are separated thanks to operations carried out using specific tools. The polyurethane, which usually retains some traces of gas inside, is sent to a pressing system to become inert and then be safely transported to its final destination. All these operations take place in a controlled atmosphere and with high-tech safety systems.
  • Next steps: the recycling of the refrigerator provides for a treatment, with different technologies, of the gas contained in the polyurethane foams. The output material can be reused as a secondary raw material.

All the advantages of Forrec’s system

Forrec designs and produces complete plants for the recycling of refrigerators, which stand out for quality and performance, in particular:

  • higher capacities: 120 units/hour treated;
  • experience;
  • lower operating costs;
  • flexibility;
  • less managed costs and more efficiency;
  • cleanliness of the materials.

Forrec, with its team of professionals with over 20 years of experience in the recycling industry, designs and produces shredders and customised turn-key systems and plants for solid waste treatment, for European and non-EU markets.

Find more information about the innovative plants for solid waste treatment and recycling designed and manufactured by Forrec.

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