Geminor increases investment in bio-RDF

Source: press release, 2 June 2022

More efficient plastic extraction – Geminor’s new in-house developed production line in Aalberg, Denmark
More efficient plastic extraction – Geminor’s new in-house developed production line in Aalberg, Denmark (photo: Geminor)

A brand new, in-house developed production line in Aalborg enables Geminor to extract plastic from residual waste in a more efficient way. The new line opens for a significant increase in the recycling rate of plastics, as well as in the production of bio-RDF with low fossil content.

After several months of preparation, Geminor has developed a new production line in Aalborg, Denmark, which can produce purer fractions for both material recycling and energy recovery. Central to the production line is a new and in-house developed windshifter, a machine that extracts heavy materials and impurities such as stone, metal, and wood – but also retrieves more plastic content from the waste.

Thanks to an experienced team in Aalborg, the windshifter is now installed and in full operation, says managing director of Geminor Waste Treatment (GWT), Johan Olø.

“We have built our own windshifter both in order to optimise the end products and to get a more compact and functional line of machinery. The windshifter removes impurities, but also allows us to extract up to 70% of the plastic in the residual waste we treat. This gives us fractions of higher quality both in regards to material recycling and energy recovery,” Olø explains.

Geminor has a long-term contract with the cement producer Aalborg Portland, which is receiving solid recovered fuel (SRF) with a high calorific value from the HUB in Aalborg. The tailor-made fuel is a substitute for petcoke and coal, which significantly reduces emissions.

Developing bio-RDF
For several months, Geminor has been running a test project on the development of a “heavy” refuse-derived fuel (RDF) with a high biogenic content, mainly in the company’s HUB in Landskrona in Sweden. This experience is now implemented in the operations in Aalborg, primarily to improve the sorting of plastic, says Johan Olø.

“Our goal is to extract and supply pure plastic fractions for chemical or mechanical recycling, for example for the supply Quantafuel’s pyrolysis plant in Skive. What we are left with once the plastic and other substances are removed, is a bio-RDF with low fossil content,” says Olø.

“The low-carbon RDF is more expensive to produce than the high-CV RDF, but the fuel will be profitable in terms of lower taxation,” he adds.

More efficient recycling
Every year, 40-50,000 tonnes of waste pass through Geminor’s HUB in Aalborg. The facility currently produces at full capacity, says Country Manager in Denmark, Kasper Thomsen.

“Our goal is to be able to extract even more resources higher up in the waste hierarchy. Now that we can separate the plastic more efficiently, we can also get it recycled in the most sensible way. Chemical and mechanical recycling of plastic is a sustainable option, and the use of bio-RDF will grow significantly towards 2030,” says Thomsen.

“Being able to supply the regional market is becoming increasingly important, especially from a sustainability perspective. We are gradually getting closer to an optimal HUB both in terms of receiving, sorting, processing, storing, and distributing different types of fractions,” continues Thomsen.