New waste shredder transforms co-processing capabilities of Geocycle Argentina

An Untha XR3000C mobil-e shredder is now in operation at Geocycle’s co-processing facility in Córdoba, Argentina, as the innovative waste handler continues to progress towards a zero-waste future.

The team – a 100% daughter company of cement manufacturer LafargeHolcim – is now transforming 100 tonnes of waste per day into an on-specification alternative fuel, for use within the company’s cement kiln only 5km away. And plans are already underway to double fuel production volumes by the end of Q1 2021.

World-renowned for its flexibility, the single shaft UNTHA XR is handling a wide range of input materials – collected from a 100km radius – including Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), wood, plastics and tyres. With no pre-shredding required, Geocycle can produce a homogenous 50mm output granulate in one pass, to significantly reduce the company’s reliance on ever-depleting fossil fuels, while diverting thousands of tonnes of waste from landfill.

The investment in this latest machine means Geocycle has now commissioned more than 10 UNTHA shredders on 3 continents globally.

“Geocycle Argentina is no stranger to waste shredding for alternative fuel production,” explained director Mariano Bollo. “We previously used a dual-shaft machine manufactured by a competitor of UNTHA’s, but the capacity and reliability of our machine continued to cause us problems.

“UNTHA’s low speed, high torque drive means this is a powerful machine with impressive uptime, ease of maintenance and proven capabilities. This – combined with the shredder’s versatility – meant the business case to switch to an XR was strong.”

With the help of LafargeHolcim’s technical support group – based in Switzerland – Geocycle Argentina developed the specification for the new machine.

“While we think carefully about every decision we make, to ensure each shredder we invest in has absolutely the right configuration for every single plant, we now run a number of UNTHA machines, across our global group,” continued Mariano.

“The whole life operating costs of this shredder are extremely low, which means we can consistently produce a profitable, environmentally-sound fuel. It therefore comes as little surprise that we’re looking to standardise the technology we use across our business. This has benefits when it comes to procuring and sharing spare and wear parts too.”

Working in collaboration with UNTHA’s local engineering specialists, Geocycle is now optimising the design and layout of the waste processing line to double throughputs in the early part of 2021.

“This XR investment aligns with our global alternative fuel production strategy, which doesn’t just improve our cement manufacturing footprint worldwide – it transforms the environmental status of our local communities too,” Mariano concluded.

Since 1990, LafargeHolcim has reduced its net carbon emissions per tonne of cement, by 25%.


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