At Boliden’s smelting plant in Ronnskär, you can find one of the world’s largest recycling stations for electronics. The Instalco company, HP Welding has been contracted for manufacturing and installing a hood for the boiler of the furnace.
Boliden’s copper smelter near Skellefteå has been recycling waste material since the 1960s. The smelter’s current annual capacity for recycling electronics is 120,000 tonnes. All types of electronics material are collected, although most of it is crushed circuit boards, which are sent to a Kaldo furnace that has been specially designed for smelting of electronic materials.
“We have a long-term, successful collaboration with Boliden Mineral to meet their special requirements for this type of unique project. In 2011, we delivered the entire boiler for Boliden’s e-Kaldo plant with successful results and are now working with a similar assignment. Because of the pandemic though, we faced particularly large challenges in this project with manufacturing overseas,” says Rickard Långh, CEO at HP Welding Sweden.
The hood, which HP Welding will deliver and install, has been manufactured by a subcontractor in Hungary, then sent by truck to Sweden for installation at Boliden Rönnskär.
The actual smelting furnace consists of a gigantic, rotating leaning cylinder that rotates during the smelting process. The electronic was that is incinerated is then further processed to extract the copper and other precious metals. There is an advanced treatment system for the emissions from the process and the steam that it generates is captured and used to produce electricity and district heating.
Through this sustainability project, we ensure safe, reliable operations at the Boliden e-Kaldo plant and we are certainly proud of the part we have played in making it possible to recycle such enormous quantities of electronic scrap,” says Rickard.
Many of the solutions needed to be specially designed. The material in the E-kaldo furnace hood is INCONEL alloy 625, which is able to withstand the extremely high temperatures generated during incineration of this type of electronic waste.