BEERSE, Belgium— January 11, 2021 — Campine has expanded its recycling activities with an innovative process to recycle chemicals directly out of post-consumer and industrial metal waste.
The company, located in Beerse near Antwerp, has two main activities — the recycling of lead from car batteries; and the production of antimony trioxide, a chemical additive. Antimony trioxide makes plastics and textiles flame retardant. It is produced out of antimony metal, which mainly comes from mining activities in China, and Central and Southeast Asia.
Beside these main activities, Campine’s Metals Recycling division has been developing a business to extract or concentrate other metals such as tin, antimony, silver and gold from industrial waste streams. Campine has now developed an innovative process to transform antimony containing fractions in industrial waste directly into antimony trioxide. The company invested 4.9 million euros in this. “The lead-alloys used for the manufacturing of new car batteries is containing less and less antimony, whilst the old used batteries, which Campine receives for recycling, still have a much higher antimony content.” explained Hilde Goovaerts, who is in charge of metallurgical technology at Campine. “With our new process we can recover the excess of antimony and transform it directly into trioxide, which can be used further in our Specialty Chemicals division. This innovation is almost exclusive to Campine, as we are the only company in Europe and by extension in the world, that combines the recycling of lead-acid batteries and the manufacturing of antimony trioxide” she concludes. The innovation has been recognized by the Flemish government, who officially awarded an investment subsidy of 1 million euros during its council meeting on Friday January 8th. The government confirms herewith the sustainable character of the innovation and the strive to develop circular processes in Flanders.
The demand for recycled products increases year-on-year. In 2018 Campine introduced as first company in the world a recycled antimony trioxide grade called ReGen™ (re-generated). “We were immediately sold out of the ReGen product as we had only limited volumes available” states CEO De Vos “With our new process, we will be able to produce on an industrial scale larger quantities for our customers, which already often use recycled polymers and will now be able to complement those with recycled additives. On top of this, it makes Campine – and to some extent Europe – less dependent on the dominant Chinese imports of antimony metal,” De Vos emphasized. Campine wants to provide at least 20% of its antimony metal demand through this type of recovery from regional waste streams. The new process to recycle antimony is already in its start-up phase and it will already contribute to Campine’s results in 2021.
Posted January 12, 2021
Source: Campine NV