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18. February 2020

Nehlsen's cryogenic plant in Bremen

Specialist process: high technical expertise

Nehlsen has been operating the cryogenic plant for recycling plastic and metal emballages with harmful adhered residues since 1995, and has comprehensive experience with this plant technology. RIGK has been using this recycling technology from Nehlsen in northern Germany since 2000. The plant works on the principle of embrittling the hazardous adhered residues. In the first step, the delivered emballages are shredded. They are then shock frozen using liquid nitrogen at temperatures down to minus 180 degrees. This allows the remaining adhered residue to be separated from the plastics and metals in the next step. The final product is clean plastics and metals.

“This process is highly efficient and allows us to meet all the standards and requirements of the European specifications on waste recycling,” says Duesmann. The cryogenic plant currently still has spare capacity for accepting and recycling even more waste of this kind.” Given the aim of saving resources and the European waste hierarchy, recycling is the top priority. According to Duesmann, depositing emballages in landfill has long been forbidden by law in Europe. Burning plastics is also negligible from an economic and environmental point of view, as they significantly reduce the throughout of the combustion plants and thus the available capacity, in part due to the high heating value, says Jürgen Neumann & Andreas Wiemann, Managing Director of Nehlsen Industrieservice GmbH & Co. KG.

Image source: Nehlsen GmbH & Co. KG

High demand: Nehlsen increases recycling of plastic and metal packaging at cryogenic plant in Bremen

Using a specially developed process, the plant recycles emballages with harmful adhered residues from all over Europe – including packaging from the RIGK recovery systems.

Following China’s ban on plastic waste imports, demand for resource-saving recycling of plastic and metal packaging is high. More and more industrial and waste disposal companies from all over Europe are using Nehlsen’s service – not least due to the high statutory recycling standards. This is one reason why the company has seen a significant increase in the amount of waste with hazardous adhered residues, such as paints, oils or adhesive residues under waste code number 150110*, to be processed at its cryogenic plant in Bremen this year. “While we treated around 3,500 tonnes of plastic and metal packaging in the first half of 2018, this had already risen by 20 percent by the first half of 2019,” says Ralf Duesmann, Key Account Manager national/international at Nehlsen Industrieservice GmbH & Co. KG. The plant is capable of processing 13,000 tonnes of waste every year, mostly from recovery systems, reconditioning and special waste storage. These are plastic emballages made from hard polyethylene (HDPE), such as mineral oil barrels, and metal emballages. In addition, Nehlsen has expanded the range it accepts, now also recycling large packaging (IBC) made from HDPE  in the cryogenic plant. The recovered materials, known as CryoPlast, are used as ground material in the processing industry, such as to produce piping and plastic pallets. CryoTall is used in steel melt.

The reusable plastic ground material (CryoPlast) is returned to the material cycle, for example for producing piping or pallets. Under the name CryoTall, the metal is used as a raw material in steel melt. Image source: Nehlsen GmbH & Co. KG

In case of questions, please contact:

Nehlsen GmbH & Co. KG
Ralf Duesmann
Divisonal Director national and international markets/ Key Account Management
Phone: +49 421 6266 247