Clean technologies for waste recovery
PureSphera’s unique technology recovers the maximum amount of harmful halocarbons from refrigeration appliances and foam insulation. Our technologies reduce 2.7 times more GHGs than the regulatory requirement, if performed by professionals, and nine times more if performed by unskilled individuals.
Our facility has also added optical sorting equipment to recover plastics for reuse.
Pickup and reception
Every item is bar-coded when collected, to ensure traceability throughout the process. When it arrives at the treatment facility, the equipment is identified by production date, refrigerants, and insulation (polyurethane foam or fibreglass wool) used. Some components are removed at this stage (drawers, plastic and glass shelving, light bulbs, etc.). Any equipment containing hazardous materials, such as mercury switches, is removed and safely disposed of by specialized companies.
Cooling circuits and compressors
The unit is mechanically positioned to completely drain the cooling circuits and compressors with a mechanized hydraulic arm. An automated vacuum system, connected to the cooling circuit, removes refrigerants and oils (usually contaminated with CFCs, HFCs, and HCFCs) from the compressor in a leakproof, airtight environment. Once extracted, oil/refrigerant mixtures are heated to separate refrigerants from the oils; refrigerants are then stored in pressurized cylinders and oils are stored in a separate tank. The compressors are extracted and handled separately.
View this PDF to learn more about our SEG technology.
Freezer and refrigerator carcasses are mechanically directed to a shredder. The shredding process is performed with vacuum extraction to prevent leakage of CFC, HFC, and HCFCs found in the foam insulation. Nitrogen generators replace oxygen, to prevent explosions and ensure cold milling. The captured gases are filtered and reused in the process. A highly sophisticated transportation system separates the heavy fraction (steel, aluminum, copper, and plastics) from the lighter fraction (polyurethane foam).
Separating shredded materials
Metals are further separated with a magnetic belt for steel and iron, or Eddy current separators for copper and aluminum, while plastics are transferred to collection bins. The light fraction (foam insulation) is directed to a silo, further shredded into fine dust, which is then heated to extract the remaining CFCs, HFCs, and HCFCs. A series of pressurization and cooling condenses the ozone-depleting substances and stores them in pressurized cylinders. The resulting decontaminated powder is then cooled down and is ready for reuse or for recycling.
Our optical sorter is composed of a tipping trailer that pours unsorted plastic onto a conveyor. The conveyor transports plastics to a vibrating grid, which removes any pieces which are too fine for sorting. The plastics pass under an optical scanner, which identifies plastics with infrared spectra and automatically rejects them with a compressed air nozzle if necessary. The plastics are divided in two portions: one is ejected into the accepted materials chute, the second falls into the rejected materials chute, for further processing.
Recycling recovered materials
Most recovered materials are weighed and sold to specialized end users.
Refrigerants (CFCs, HFCs, HCFCs) extracted from treated equipment are destroyed in compliance with regulations.