ThermoTeam: SRF Production Facility Saves One Million Tons of CO2

15 years ago ThermoTeam started producing solid recovered fuels for the cement industry. Incredibly, one million tons of energy rich SRF have already left the production line designed entirely by Lindner-Recyclingtech. With this innovative facility for sustainable and environmentally friendly waste processing in Styria, Austria, cement manufacturer Lafarge has already been able to save 1.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2). This is the amount of CO2 that the average car would emit while circumnavigating the earth approximately 230.000 times.

ThermoTeam Alternativbrennstoffverwertungs GmbH in Feldkirchen near Graz is a joint venture between Lafarge Perlmooser Holding AG and Saubermacher Dienstleistungs AG. On February 28th, 2018 the company celebrated 15 years of successful SRF production at the Retznei site in Styria with guests from politics, business and research, and announced more trailblazing investments in the future. The innovative SRF facility went into operation in June 2003; since then, it has already produced one million tons of high-calorific SRF from mixed municipal and industrial waste, which is then largely co-incinerated in the neighbouring Retznei cement works.

As ThermoTeam CEO Christian Lampl explained at the ceremony, the cement industry is making a valuable contribution to climate and resource protection by replacing hard coal or lignite with solid recovered fuel for energy production. A study carried out by Joanneum Research in Graz confirms that for every ton of SRF used instead of coal, carbon dioxide emissions are reduced by two tons. Cement manufacturer Lafarge has therefore been able to save 1.2 million metric tons of CO2 in the last ten years. In this context Hans Roth, founder of Saubermacher and chairman of the supervisory board, spoke of a sustainable success story: ‘ThemoTeam is an innovative, committed company that is investing in the promising idea of a circular economy and creates jobs in the Southern Styria region.’

An excellent concept

Lindner-Recyclingtech in Spittal an der Drau, Carinthia played a key role in this success story. From the planning stage, production and assembly of the system components to the inauguration and initial use of the machine, the leading supplier of shredding solutions for the waste processing and recycling industry with a focus on the SRF market was involved from the very beginning and designed the complete processing line.

Primary and secondary shredders, ferrous and non-ferrous separators, a wind sifter as well as feeding systems, conveyor and discharge belts were supplied and installed. The plant was approved in accordance with the Austrian Waste Management Act’s (AWG) strict criteria to comply with emission and immission limits. As early as 2003 ThermoTeam was awarded the Environmental Protection Award of the Province of Styria for their work. Since 2004 the company has been a certified waste management company.

At the start of the SRF production line is a Lindner Meteor stationary – a stationary primary shredder. The predecessor of the manufacturer's Jupiter machine series already has over 70.000 operating hours under its belt. Over a period of ten years the Meteor has processed an incredible one million metric tons of input material. All Lindner shredders have a common characteristic: they are virtually unaffected by foreign objects. Damage to the machine can be largely excluded and even the most difficult materials are processed effortlessly. The hydraulic maintenance door for easy and convenient removal of foreign objects and machine cleaning is another unique feature of Lindner products.

An innovative approach

With a capacity of 100.000 metric tons per year, the SRF facility has not only been producing high-calorific solid recovered fuels since its launch in 2003, but has also recycled around 27.000 tons of scrap metal and 5.000 tons of PET plastic waste using a sorting system positioned after the primary shredders. As a result of the ever increasing demand, ThermoTeam intends to ramp up SRF production output to approximately 118.000 metric tons and to invest two million euros in the plant by 2019. Lindner-Recyclingtech will supply a Komet HP 2200 to replace two of the manufacturer's older stationary secondary shredders.

The SRF production facility will be used as a test and pilot facility in the research project ‘ReWaste 4.0’. With this innovative approach, the project headed by the University of Leoben aims to treat mixed waste more efficiently and therefore increase the material recycling rate. The objective is to develop a waste treatment system for the future that uses sensor-based, contactless sorting technologies and robotics, and digitally connects different systems.

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