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Saving Gold from Landfills

Waste Handling & Recycling

Saving Gold from Landfills

Recovery of Metals from fine Shredder Fractions
Approximately 20 grams of gold, 200 to 300 grams of silver, as well as platinum and other precious and non-ferrous metals: this multitude of resources can be hiding in one tonne of heavy non-ferrous fraction, and which until now have invariably been deposited in landfills. A new one-of-a-kind process allows to reclaim and sell these metals profitably.
(ed. WoMaMarcel - 18/9/2015)
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Approx. 20 g of gold, 200 to 300 g of silver, as well as platinum and other precious and non-ferrous metals can be hiding in one tonne of heavy non-ferrous fraction.

Approximately 20 grams of gold, 200 to 300 grams of silver, as well as platinum and other precious and non-ferrous metals: this multitude of resources can be hiding in one tonne of heavy non-ferrous fraction. In the recycling process for automobile, electrical and electronic waste, the coarse components are shredded and treated, leaving this fraction behind.

Despite its great value, this fine material is usually disposed of at landfills or incinerated. As more and more electronic components and boards are used in vehicles and electronic devices, all the more valuable resources are lost.

With its complete solution for the fine treatment of shredder residues, BHS picks up where others have left off: substances once headed to the landfill or incinerator are now fed back into the material cycle and profitably recycled. Operators re-port that the sale of the materials, for example the heavy fraction of non-ferrous metals, earns them approximately EUR 3500 per tonne, and that their plants have paid for themselves within nine to twelve months.


Layout of the fine grain recycling plant. The rotor impact mill is the centrepiece of the entire installation.

However, the plant does not just generate income from the sale of metals; it avoids landfill costs as well. In turn, this serves to unburden landfills, which is all the more significant in light of the new landfill directive. When compared to other systems, rotor impact mills for recycling applications (type RPMV) also feature low wear-related costs, contributing in large part to low costs of operation.

Utilisation of Secondary Raw Materials

Shredding used to be of commercial interest mainly for ferromagnetic materials. Nevertheless, by the end of the last century, the recycling of non-ferrous metals also became economically viable. Today, with modern plant technology, the sale of precious metals is lucrative as well. The German manufacturer BHS was one of the pioneers in this development with a one-of-a-kind machine: the rotor impact mill (RPMV). Supplied exclusively by BHS worldwide, it has been among the key solutions for the clean separation of non-ferrous metals from other materials.

Building on its scrap crushing expertise and with many of its rotor impact mills integrated in similar processes, BHS has developed a complete solution for fine-grain treatment. It combines impact crushing technology with physical separation methods and comprises all process stages from the feeding of material to the separation of individual substances to the removal of dust.

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