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Recycling equipment – tested and approved  #6 (52), 2007

LangustHaving mastered all phases of recycling including collection, delivery, cleaning and washing landfill polymer waste, having mastered high-quality recycled feedstock production, specialists working in Langust Ltd. are eager to share their experience with those just going to start recycling business and buy the necessary equipment

Flat and profile sheets made of recycled PET, HDPE and PS are used for making roofs and facade claddings… In 2004 specialists from Langust have visited K Show to buy polymer recycling machines. Before that they managed to gather and analyze information from Russian polymer recycling companies operating European and Asian washing machines.
It turned out that the declared hour productivity is not stable during the day and depends directly on the degree of waste pollution, and on the consequently appearing downtime for machinery cleaning. Apparently, many producers simply do not fully realize that PET-bottles they recycle come from landfills, often right from under the bulldozers’ tracks. This causes discrepancy between the declared and the factual water volume, which causes necessity of additional water heating and additional volumes of detergents.
Extemporaneous machinery cleaning (that can not be regulated since dry and wet labels of processed bottles clog mechanisms in different ways) does not allow to ensure stable output of high-quality raw materials without the adequate control over recycling technology.

Difficult choice
Flat and profile sheets made of recycled PET, HDPE and PS are used for making roofs and facade claddings…At K-2004, which is called a show of latest achievements in plastics processing from all over the world people from Langust faced the difficult choice of recycling equipment from the variety available.
The machines were chosen by the following parameters:
1. PET-bottles productivity of 250 kg/hour, or 2 thousand tons/year
2. Possibility of making high-quality feedstock with separating washed PET-flakes from ground caps.
3. Price – up to 3000 thousand euro.
4. Water consumption – up to 500 l/hour
5. Electric energy consumption – low to a minimum.
6. Possibly shortest downtime for cleaning
7. Small footprint and space needed for machinery maintenance
8. Minimal staff of operators.
In selecting the machine it turned out that
- productivity is mainly 500-3000 kg/hour
- price for compact high-tech energy-saving European machinery is too high
- cheaper (which is its major advantage) Asian equipment is much larger and electric energy consumption level leaves much to be desired. The recycling technology implies removing ground caps together with paper labels via water flotation at the initial phase, and that causes losing up to 5% of polyethylene. Remaining paper and suspended soda are removed through numerous settling tubs, which increases water consumption and leads to regular technological stoppages for cleaning.
- most machinery producers do not include water recycling devices in the line, which makes it difficult to operate it in accordance with environmental safety standards.
- not all the lines have in-line water heaters
Having analyzed all pros and contras of the machines available, specialists from Langust have chosen German equipment. The chosen line answered all the company’s requirements:
1) water consumption can be regulated up to 600 l/hour
2) it’s possible to wash away and remove PET-flakes and ground caps separately.
3) 95% of polluting elements like glue, paper, soil, glass are removed at a first stage, during dry and wet cleaning.
4) possible output of 250 kg PET flakes an hour.
5)price up to 300 thousand euro

Next step
… and for interior finishingOperating the line, Langust’s specialists have revealed its advantages and disadvantages.
Processing heavily contaminated materials it was necessary to improve the line’s construction and processing technology as well. After advancing the hot washer’s construction it became possible to wash 100% of PET bottles as well as ground polyethylene.
In 2007 cooperation between a German polymer waste washing equipment producer and Langust Ltd. resulted into an agreement for providing Langust the right to use technological know-how in manufacturing washing equipment under its own brand. At Ural productions there was made a line to be tested then at Langust production facilities at maximal loading. This proved the line produced high-quality recycled feedstock used by the company for polyether film strings production.

Line’s advantages
1. Removing 95% of contaminants like paper, glue, soil, glass at the first stage during dry and wet cleaning.
2. The line is equipped with water recycling devices, where alkaline condition is neutralized with sulphuric acid, suspended soda precipitates in the settling tub, water passes through the filters and in this way moves in a closed cycle. Volume of disposed and new water taken is 200 l an hour. Water heater is included.
3. Footprint is 95 square meters, required workshop height is not more than 3 meters.
4. All the lines’ mechanisms are installed at three frame grounds, sized 2.3x4 m, 2.3x5.5 m and 2.3x2.5 m. The line can be installed in a row as well U-like or cornerwise.
5. For efficient recycled feedstock production, saving transportation costs by better loading capacity and for creating a complex net of materials producers, the company offers the following variants to equip the line with grinders:
a) equipping the line with four grinders with 75 kg an hour output and drive power of 7.0 kW gives freedom for installation. The recycled material is packed in 20l polypropylene sacks. Bulk capacity grows twice compared with pressed bottles. Moreover, there’s no grinder in the principle line, the feedstock goes to the mechanisms through the batchers.
b) one grinder with 150 kg/hour productivity, 15 kW/hour drive power. Two grinders with 75 kg/hour productivity and 7.0 kW/hour drive power.
c) 1 grinder with 300 kg/hour productivity and 18.5 kW/hour drive power.
6. Hot washer construction provides 200 kg of hour’s output for washing PET bottles, 120 kg hour’s output for washing automobile cans, 40 kg of hour’s output for film, and the clean waste is separated according to density.
7. A line with 200 kg/hour productivity is manufactured in 45 days.
8. Principle units are made of steel.
9. The line is operated by:
a) 2 men at feeding the waste through the batchers
b) 3 men at feeding the waste through the grinders
10. Electric energy consumption at working conditions doesn’t exceed 130 kW an hour.
11. Output rates are 200, 400 and 600 kg an hour at different lines available.
12. Installation, starting-up and adjustment, staff training and putting in operation are performed in two days. This service is provided for free.
13. The necessary transportation facility is one standard European van. Loading and unloading takes 1 hour.
14. 1 year warranty
15. PET flakes producing line with 200 kg/hour output costs 120 thousand euro (VAT is not included). There’s a possibility to pay partly by produced materials.
All the lines are using German technological solutions. The units’ parts are produced at production sited in Ural, assembling and trial run are performed by specialists of Langust. The line is equipped with grinders made by “NII ProektAsbest”.

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