Air Products has recently signed contracts with more than 20 recycled copper manufacturers in China to provide its oxy-fuel solution, and about half of them are already onstream and running. The solution helps to improve productivity and material qualities compared to conventional air-fuel technologies, as well as decrease harmful emissions and reduce energy consumption and fuel cost throughout the operation.
Air Products' oxy-fuel solution for recycled copper includes the supply of oxygen, a patented oxy-fuel burner, and fully integrated control equipment. In addition, the company provides computational simulations with advanced visualization techniques, as well as services such as commissioning, process optimization, maintenance, safety training, engineering support, and in-depth knowledge and expertise in copper smelting.
"We are pleased to see a number of China's leading copper companies adopt our advanced solutions," said CQ Lin, Asia industry manager, Primary Metals & Minerals at Air Products. "Air Products focuses on energy, environmental and emerging markets to help our customers become more productive, energy-efficient and sustainable. Our oxy-fuel technology and expertise in recycled copper processes, plus a broad array of gas supply options, help our customers implement tailored solutions to meet their specific needs."
Dashan Copper, a leading scrap copper recycling company in Tianjin, Northern China, is the first to use Air Products' oxy-fuel solution in China. The adoption has resulted in about two-thirds savings in fuel consumption, reduced emissions and enhanced operational flexibilities.
Jinlong Group, a leader in scrap metal recycling in Hunan Province, Southern China, has seen a significant decrease in fuel consumption as well as a reduction of nitrogen oxide emissions after using Air Products' oxy-fuel solution.
Air Products has delivered combustion equipment, technology and solutions to the non-ferrous industry for over 50 years. The company has pioneered the application of industrial gas-based technologies on both rotary and reverbatory furnaces for copper smelting and is constantly seeking to develop and improve the range. As one of the first multinational gas corporations to enter the China market, Air Products has been serving the country's various strategic markets for over 25 years. The company will continue to work with China's copper manufacturers to drive the sustainable growth of the industry.
Sustainability has become a major theme for China's economic and social development, and the recycling economy is playing an increasingly important role as advocated by the Chinese government. The recycling and re-use of non-ferrous metals, particularly for copper, is seen as a green and high-growth industry to improve productivity and efficiency while reducing waste and emissions. According to China's Five Year Plan for Non-ferrous metals industry, recycled copper will represent 40 percent of copper production by 2015. However, recycled copper manufacturers are facing increasing challenges of rising raw material costs and stringent environmental regulations while they try to stay competitive and achieve sustainable growth.