Technology lets recyclers target changing markets

Working closely with its customers, Eriez designs separation solutions that allow recyclers to quickly adapt to changing global markets for shredded metals.

fine zorba

Shredder yard operators, after conducting an initial sort of nonferrous and nonmetallic auto shredder residue (ASR), can produce the zurik grade of mixed metals. Zurik is defined as shredded nonferrous sensor-sorted scrap. Zurik consists of a combination of stainless steel, insulated copper wire, aluminum, copper, lead, magnesium, nickel, tin and zinc.

A white paper authored by Eriez Market Manager-Recycling Mike Shattuck describes zurik as “expensive to recover” but yet commanding “a relatively low price, as zurik needs to be processed further to make a mill-ready product.”

Having received that feedback from its customers, Eriez has worked closely with them to create a multistep process deploying Eriez technologies to create a more desirable and profitable zorba fraction. The process not only produces high-grade, highly sought-after copper-rich zorba, but equally importantly processes stockpiled zurik that has the potential to be a fire hazard.

Equipment used in the Eriez zurik-to-zorba process consists of a ring mill, a small drum type magnetic separator, an ultra-high-frequency (UHF) eddy current separator and a stainless steel magnetic separator.

The ring mill starts the process by shredding the recovered zurik down to one-half-inch in size. Benefits of this stage include liberation of some materials and the creation of more uniformly sized pieces, which allows for better separation and recovery when exposed to subsequent magnetic separators and eddy current separators.

After an Eriez drum magnet removes any remaining ferrous fraction, an Eriez UHF eddy current separator engages in the recovery of materials that produce a zorba grade with 95 percent or greater purity that can sell at a premium price on global markets.

The final stage, which involves an Eriez magnetic separator with an exceptionally high, specifically designed magnetic circuit, further purifies the zorba and can produce a clean stainless steel fraction that has value in the global secondary commodities market.

Shattuck writes in his white paper’s conclusion, “This copper-rich zorba commands a higher price than standard zorba, which is also easier to market. Additionally, this system creates a fine salable stainless steel product.”

A global metals market that is increasingly focused on inspections and testing for quality has spurred interest in the Eriez zurik-to-zorba process, says Eriez Director of Heavy Industries Darrell Milton.

“It’s our job to meet the needs of customers, and they have let us know they need this zurik-to-zorba upgrade process,” Milton says.

The complete Eriez “Processing Zurik to Zorba” white paper can be viewed at www.eriez.com/Zurik-to-Zorba-White-Paper.

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February 2022
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