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Author: Subject: Recycling metals, plastics, rubber/foams, glass, circuit boards - value adding processes?
RogueRose
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Recycling metals, plastics, rubber/foams, glass, circuit boards - value adding processes?

I was a little upset when I found that a 15lb radiator that was ~70% copper and 30% Al by weight would only fetch $5.25 ($.35 per lb) for 10.5lbs copper and 4.5lbs Al. both of these were clean from dirt and oil but the copper had oxidized to a semi-dark brown but was still smooth. The Al had minimal oxidation on the surface and was in surprising condition for being 30+ years old going from hot to cold.

There are MANY other situations such as this that make scrapping a process where the person selling to the yard looses out.

I'm trying to figure out what compounds could be made from the recycled metals to give a "value added" result such as taking scrap cast iron (sometimes < $.02/lb) and making FeSO4 or even Fe2O3/Fe3O4 and selling that to businesses that use it. I'm trying to make a list of what are some possible compounds which would be desirable for re-sale as well as what products are often easy to find for recycling. One of the main items of interest is -tire rubber, -Styrofoam (from coolers and peanuts), -packing peanuts, -scrap insulation (stuff currently produced) -Plastic soda bottles -ABS plastic -PVC -Copper -Aluminum -Steel (all grades and carbon content) -Circuit boards -Glass - especially bottle but also CRT leaded -Lead - from batteries so Lead oxide and Lead sulphate If anyone knows of something these can be converted to on a larger scale, I'm very interested. aga Forum Drunkard Posts: 6370 Registered: 25-3-2014 Member Is Offline Separate the materials. Do the Science. Hopefully, Do Something instead of endless pointless questions. Maybe do the Maths - if you want$ out of it.

Edit:

Definitely Do the Math if you want some $out of it. Madness is thinking i'm not drunk. j_sum1 International Hazard Posts: 3390 Registered: 4-10-2014 Location: Oz Member Is Offline Mood: Undergoing decantation and leaving all the crap behind. There are two ways this could go. Either you use recycled materials as a resource and produce them at a small scale because it is convenient. And you may have excess of some things to distribute to others. Alternatively you exploit economies of scale and invest some money for some equipment and actually make a profit. Even though it makes good environmental sense and is ethically admirable, recycling is notorious for low profit margins and you need to go large for it to be economical. Whichever of these two options you are interested in, you need to pick one product to recycle. Do a lot of research and crunch your numbers to find out how much it will cost. Work out the most viable process and optimise it for your own situation. Once you are established in one commodity you can expand to others. A little shameless self-promotion: You are welcome to tour my newly-completed lab. Texium (zts16) Super Moderator Thread Moved 28-10-2016 at 20:17 RogueRose International Hazard Posts: 676 Registered: 16-6-2014 Member Is Offline  Quote: Originally posted by aga Separate the materials. Do the Science. Hopefully, Do Something instead of endless pointless questions. Maybe do the Maths - if you want$ out of it. Edit: Definitely Do the Math if you want some $out of it. Well my questions may be pointless to in your mind (and we all know how permeated with EtOH vapors it is, but they are asked because they are relavant to whatever I am doing at the moment or things "in the works". I have plenty of posts where I have pics of what I've done and many more I haven't published/posted. Some IDK if it is worth posting as there are already threads containing some of the stuff. how many threads of KNO3 crystalization from NaNO3 conversion are needed? pneumatician Hazard to Others Posts: 135 Registered: 27-5-2013 Location: Duat Member Is Offline Mood: On Fire!  Quote: Originally posted by RogueRose I'm trying to figure out what compounds could be made from the recycled metals to give a "value added" result such as taking scrap cast iron (sometimes <$.02/lb) and making FeSO4 or even Fe2O3/Fe3O4 and selling that to businesses that use it. I'm trying to make a list of what are some possible compounds which would be desirable for re-sale as well as what products are often easy to find for recycling. One of the main items of interest is -tire rubber, -Styrofoam (from coolers and peanuts), -packing peanuts, -scrap insulation (stuff currently produced) -Plastic soda bottles -ABS plastic -PVC -Copper -Aluminum -Steel (all grades and carbon content) -Circuit boards -Glass - especially bottle but also CRT leaded -Lead - from batteries so Lead oxide and Lead sulphate If anyone knows of something these can be converted to on a larger scale, I'm very interested.

I read some years ago in usenet a guy saying: my uncle invented a machine self-sufficient producing excess electricity with tires, nobody want the machine.

the other day in keiser report in RT a guy produce biodiesel in "low scale" with anything like used oil, animal fats...

the machine for "tramute" plastic to petrol again is allready working in low scale??

http://bigthink.com/design-for-good/japanese-machine-convert...

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20161117-the-rise-of-miniatu...

I used glass bottles in pieces and metal cans with stones... to fill up empty spaces in walls, some people make entire wall houses of glass bottles, others make art with anything... the possibilities are endless. but many recicling need space, time and money. the cheepest? if you have a big "backyard" separete all your residues and sell it when you have a good quantity. if you have a lot of money to invest a lot of people have a lot of ideas, myself, without going any further.
Dr.Bob
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Having been trying to recycle many things for years, the real problem is that recycling everything in the best way possible takes a lot of space and effort and often makes very little money. The scrap yard must collect Al, Copper, etc until they enough to fill an entire truck or railcar to make it cost effective, so they can only pay a portion of the value, as they have to store it and pay for it all until they get enough to sell a truckload.

I have adopted glassware, books, and other items that would have otherwise ended up in the trash, and in some cases I have made some money, but in many cases I have ended up with a basement full of junk that I have to sort through. I have 1000 science books, for example, which I can barely give away, but hate to just throw out. The trick is connecting surplus stuff to people or businesses that want the stuff you have, and the closer the better, as shipping costs can often be more than the item is worth. Sometimes with cleverness, you can win, but not always.

One example was a local pickle company that got some imported pickles in plastic barrels than can only be used a limited number of times. They tried to recycle the plastic, but the cost of shipping the barrels to a processing plant was more than the value of the plastic. If someone wanted to buy a fancy plastic shredder or such, they might solve some of that, but instead they started selling the barrels to people to make rain barrels, which are worth enough to be a practical way to reuse them profitably.

The challenge is that if you try to recycle the plastic as a polymer, you are now adding a lot of work, as you have to shred the plastic, ship it somewhere that can use it, and there is a risk that you can contaminate a whole batch of plastic with any dirt in the barrel. Since most plastic is made from oil or gas, and they are cheap right now, it is hard to compete with new plastic. For many metals, they cost more to refine and smelt, plus are easier to clean or purify, so recycling is easier. I much prefer to reduce the amount of materials I use than to try to recycle the materials once they are used. ie, don't buy lots of water bottles and plastic cups, just use a glass instead. But there are some cases where that does not work.

Similarly, making biodiesel is fine, but much more practical to do on large scale than small scale, due to the energy intensiveness of it, the health and fire hazards of using methanol in large amounts, and the variability of the quality of the fuel if the starting oil/grease is poor. That is why people don't build their own refinery to make gasoline at home, build their own cars from parts, or forge their own nails. There are some things that are more practical to do in centralized facilities. Not that you can't do them at home, it just won't often be financially prudent. That does not mean that it can't be done, or even shouldn't, but just that is why trying to recycle can be tough.

I did recently find uses for many items I have had for a while, while cleaning up some storage space, found many things I had forgotten, and was able to find uses for many, but it shows how you have to be able to sort and store the items in a way that you can know what you have and find it, which is much harder than I would have thought. Good luck.
violet sin
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Dr.Bob: recycling everything in the best way possible takes a lot of space and effort and often makes very little money.

I agree with that statement 1000%. Soooo many times I have taken in e-waste b/c individuals were going to be stupid about it. (Or it was abandoned in the woods) regardless, I would take them to the transfer station, where they take it for free (after I picked a few choice parts). But up untill then the stuff sits about, pissing off the miss's. Sooo much space, time and sanity burned up in processing the mess. Always end up with ragged bleading hands to boot.

I still take stuff in, pick it over and do the whole dance, for now... But family is graciously swallowing my spare time at an increasing rate. So that ship is about to sail for good. Factor in how many countless hours of sorting, stacking, storing, shredding, transporting and eventually getting paid or dropping for free. Makes me wonder why Iv'e done it so long, other than boerdom on a low budget

Better to come up with a process to more effectively recycle, than be the guy recycling. Like for instance, cheaper reagents, less moving parts, a newer waste stream or something similar. Untill then its just a hobby unless you are doing production scale

Sauce
PHILOU Zrealone
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Best recyclages to my point of view:
-Styrofoam for styren monomer giving acces to the wide benzen derivatives chemistry
-PET soda bottles for ethylene glycol and terephtalic acid (para-benzen-dioic) (also a good source of benzen)
-Nylon for 1,6-diaminohexane, hexan-dioic acid or gamma-amino-hexanoic acid
-Copper pipes

Just take a look at the price of terephtalic acid (per kilo)...you won't see your soda bottle the same way.

PH Z (PHILOU Zrealone)

"Physic is all what never works; Chemistry is all what stinks and explodes!"-"Life that deadly disease, sexually transmitted."(W.Allen)

 Sciencemadness Discussion Board » Fundamentals » Miscellaneous » Recycling metals, plastics, rubber/foams, glass, circuit boards - value adding processes? Select A Forum Fundamentals   » Chemistry in General   » Organic Chemistry   » Reagents and Apparatus Acquisition   » Beginnings   » Miscellaneous   » The Wiki Special topics   » Technochemistry   » Energetic Materials   » Biochemistry   » Radiochemistry   » Computational Models and Techniques   » Prepublication   » References Non-chemistry   » Forum Matters   » Legal and Societal Issues   » Whimsy   » Detritus   » The Moderators' Lounge