APRIL 2009

MeWa puts refrigeration recycling system into operation in Austria

Germany-based MeWa Recycling Maschinen und Anlagenbau GmbH has put a highly modern refrigeration equipment processing system into operation at Kematen, in Austria. The virtually complete recycling of the materials and the environmentally harmful chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) with just one machine are carried out more efficiently.

The use of CFCs in refrigeration equipment was banned as early as 1996. The coolant was revealed as the number one ozone killer at the time. Despite this legislation, the number of CFC-powered refrigeration equipment in Europe is still put at more than 200 million.

Only recently, specialist associations drew attention to the improper disposal of refrigeration equipment in Europe and the illegal export of old equipment. That it can also be done differently is shown by the new plant in Kematen, Austria.

“The system makes it possible to process CFC and pentane equipment at the same time, without them having to be sorted beforehand,” said MeWa managing director, Helmut Oberguggenberger, highlighting one of the benefits of the system. In the new disposal facility, up to 300,000 refrigeration systems or 90,000 tons of CFC per year will be processed. This equates to savings of around 900,000 tons of CO2 per year.

The MeWa Querstromzerspaner (QZ) exposes the individual fractions in just one processing step. The QZ first separates the material composites of the refrigeration equipment into iron, aluminium, copper and plastic. At the end, the secondary raw materials roll into the container for collection as class 1 refrigeration scrap ready for sale.

“State-of-the-art technology makes it possible for almost 95 percent of the materials to be recycled from a refrigeration system as raw materials for new products,” explained Dr Helmut Kolba, managing director of newly established UFH RE-cyling GmbH, which has its registered office in Vienna.