Brominated flame retardants and heavy metals in automobile shredder residue (ASR) and their behavior in the melting process

Osada, M; Tanigaki, N; Takahashi, S; Sakai, S (2008) Journal of Material Cycles and Waste Management, 10(2): 93-101

The End-of-life Vehicles Recycling Act went into effect on January 1, 2005, in Japan and requires the proper treatment of airbags, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), and automobile shredder residue (ASR). The need for optimal treatment and recycling of ASR, in particular, has been increasing year after year because ASR is regarded as being difficult to treat. Dioxin-related compounds, brominated flame retardants (BFRs), heavy metals, chlorine and organotin compounds are all present in high concentrations in ASR. The authors conducted ASR melting treatment tests using a 10-tons/day-scale direct melting system (DMS), which employs shaft-type gasification and melting technology. The results obtained showed that dioxin-related compounds and BFRs were decomposed by this melting treatment. The high-temperature reducing atmosphere in the melting furnace moved volatile heavy metals such as lead and zinc into the fly ash where they were distributed at a rate of more than 90% of the input amount. This treatment was also found to be effective in the decomposition of organotin, with a rate of decomposition higher than 99.996% of the input amount. Via the recovery of heavy metals concentrated in the fly ash, all the products discharged from this treatment system were utilized effectively for the complete realization of an ASR recycling system that requires no final disposal sites.