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We operate a mercury treatment facility in Dorsten, a town located between the Münsterland region and the Ruhr area. This is where we ensure that waste containing mercury – generated by our customers from all over the world – is treated safely. Our services range from providing special bins for storing the material, to transporting the waste, all the way through to treating it using state-of-the-art technology. The aim of mercury treatment is to separate this heavy metal from the other materials and to stabilise it for further processing. We are able to do this on a grand scale in Dorsten. Thanks to our plant’s particularly large capacities.
Practically every type of waste that contains mercury can be treated at our facility in Dorsten. The following lists just a few examples of the substances and waste materials that are accepted by our plant:
Soil and sludge
Button cell batteries
Large quantities of waste containing mercury – such as catalysts, activated carbon, soil and sludge – are treated in our rotary kiln to recover the mercury (via distillation). By heating up the materials in the kiln, the mercury is transformed into gas and can be removed from the waste. This is a continuous process. The remaining waste is sent on for normal treatment once the mercury has been removed; the recovered mercury is transformed into mercury sulfide and then taken away for disposal.
Our rotary kiln for thermally treating waste containing mercury
An exothermic reaction transforms the mercury – both the mercury recovered from our rotary kiln and metallic mercury from a variety of industries (chlor-alkali industry, mines etc) – into non-toxic mercury sulfide. This is then sent to German salt mines for long-term storage.
Our mercury stabilisation unit
The batteries are sorted and separated according to their system in our semi-automated facilities to create homogenous groups of different kinds of batteries (e.g. NiCd, NiMh and Pb). This is an important pre-treatment stage as it enables the batteries to be sent on to the correct type of recycling facility.