Rotary kilns: safe and sustainable treatment of hazardous waste
The three rotary kilns in Antwerp provide thermal treatment for industrial and hazardous waste that is not eligible for recycling. One of these is MediPower®, which treats medical waste in a safe and sustainable manner. Indaver uses the steam released by incineration to heat its own buildings. After conversion, the electricity is used for its own installations or supplied to the grid.
Most waste is delivered in bulk. The driver empties the contents of the truck into the bunker, where grippers are used to pick up the waste and deposit it into the filling shaft and on into the rotary drum. Barrels containing mainly hazardous waste are stored separately and, depending on their contents, are emptied, shredded or placed immediately in the kiln.
Liquid waste is delivered via the tank park, where it is pumped into the kiln via aboveground pipelines. In 2012 the tank park was expanded to guarantee the safe treatment of liquid waste; this way Indaver ensures a buffer. Viscose waste that cannot be pumped is brought into a paste tank; liquid waste that should be minimally manipulated can be injected into the kiln via direct injection.
Waste is incinerated in rotary kilns at temperatures between 1,000°C and 1,200°C. From the rotary kilns the waste is sent to the post-combustion chamber where hazardous waste can be completely incinerated.
Extensive flue gas washing
The flue gases are dedusted in an electro filter, in a four-step wet gas washing with various chemical flows, and finally led through a dioxin filter and released via a chimney. The gases no longer contain any hazardous or disturbing substances and comply with the strictest environmental standards.
The three installations serve as each other’s back-up facility. The Indaver rotary kilns in Germany can also be used as back-up. If necessary, the waste can be transported directly to one of the other installations; so long-term storage or transfer to third parties is redundant. This way Indaver can guarantee an efficient, safe and completely reliable solution for its industrial customers.
Supplier of raw materials and energy
Slag treatment deferrizes the bottom ashes from the rotary kilns, which results in a high-quality metal fraction for recycling.
Indaver uses the steam generated during thermal treatment for its own buildings and processes (such as solvent recycling) or for neighbouring companies, such as Amoras, the dewatering installation in Port of Antwerp. A powerful turbine also converts the steam into electricity for the grid. The heat we recover at the Antwerp site can supply energy to 9,000 households.
MediPower®: safe solution for medical waste
The MediPower® installation treats hazardous waste, also known as Regulated Medical Waste (RMW), other packaged waste from the pharmaceutical and chemical sectors and liquid waste. Indaver’s MediPower® is one of the largest and most modern facilities in the world for treating this type of waste, with a very high degree of energy recovery.
Safety is foremost at Indaver. After the initial check for processing, the RMW is kept in a separate acceptance hall on pallets fully wrapped in foil. The packaged hazardous medical waste is brought to the kiln via an automatic feeding system on conveyor belts, pushers or lifts so that the employees cannot be contaminated or wounded by sharp objects.
Incineration in the rotary kilns at a temperature of 950°C guarantees as complete as possible destruction of all contaminates, such as bacteria and potentially infected material. During gasification in the rotary kiln, Indaver safely treats hazardous elements, such as mercury and cytostatics (cancer drugs).
Rotary kilns: important link in the circular economy
Indaver tries to recover as many materials as possible from waste for the purpose of recycling and reuse. However, certain waste flows, including critical and sensitive waste from the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, require thermal treatment to prevent hazardous substances from finding their way into the material or food chain. For that purpose, we have rotary kilns that can neutralise hazardous or harmful components and can filter and safely store the elements that cannot be recovered or destroyed. Therefore, the MediPower® installation at the Indaver site in Antwerp is one of the most modern plants in the world for the safe incineration of medical and sensitive pharmaceutical waste, with a high degree of energy recovery. This makes the rotary kilns important links in the circular economy for Indaver, because they help keep the product and material chains clean and safe.